A man who broke into Taylor Swift's Rhode Island mansion last Friday took off his shoes "to be polite", according to police.

Authorities responded to reports of a break in at the beachfront property and arrived to find 26-year-old Joseph McEwan inside. Upon seeing McEwan in the foyer area of the house, officers were then forced to chase him after he took off running "to find Taylor". He was detained after a brief chase on foot.

Speaking about the break in to local newspaper The Westerly Sun, police Chief Shawn Lacey explained: "A pair of orange shoes were found at the doorway where he broke in. When officers asked him why he wasn't wearing any, he told them 'I was always taught that when you go into someone's home, you have to take your shoes off.' He said he did it because it was polite."

McEwan was charged with breaking and entering a home without the owner's consent and wilful trespassing. He was released on bail and will later appear at Washington County Superior Court for a felony screening.

Lacey added that while several suspicious people have been seen at the Rhode Island property since Taylor bought it, McEwan is the first to have obtained entry to the house - which he did by scaling the perimeter fence and breaking a glass door.

"This was an unusual case in the sense that we found him inside the house," Chief Lacey continued. "We've dealt with a number of complaints at the home since it was purchased (by Swift), but this is the first I can recall of someone actually making it into the house."

Lover star Taylor wasn't home at the time of the break in.