Authorities in Maplewood have made an arrest in the robbery of a 75-year-old woman who was choked until she passed out during a home invasion over the weekend.
According to a press release, officers arrested the suspect, a 25-year-old North St. Paul resident, during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning. He was taken into custody and booked "without incident."
He has not been charged, as the department says investigators are still "working to connect" him to the Jan. 2 crime, as well as another burglary of an unoccupied home that took place nearby just days earlier.
(Editor's note: BringMeTheNews does not name suspects until they have been charged)
It's not clear how he was tracked down, but the arrest came after police released surveillance stills of the two males (above) believed to have been involved.
He's one of three people suspected in the home invasion this past weekend, which is said to have started when the 75-year-old victim answered her door to find a woman asking to use the phone. When the victim refused, the release says, the woman pulled out a handgun, barged in, and summoned two male cohorts with a telephone call.
Authorities say one of the men bound the 75-year-old's hands while the others "ransacked" her house, swiping jewelry, credit cards, and more.
One of the male suspects made the woman get on the floor and tied "an article of clothing around her neck," strangling her until she was unconscious. She later came to and was able to get help from a neighbor after the suspects had gone, according to the release.
Police told BringMeTheNews Monday she suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to the hospital. She's since been released and is with family.
The search for the other two suspects (details here) continues. Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact authorities at 651-767-0640, or 911.
Home invasions on the rise?
According to Crime Doctor – a site run by a security consultant and private investigator – home invasions and other crimes like carjacking are on the rise. He argues it's partly because "traditional commercial targets" for robbery – like cars, banks and convenience stores – have taken steps against "criminal attacks" and made efforts to keep little cash on hand.
Residences are an attractive option for criminals, the website says, as they know an occupied home won't require them to "overcome alarm systems" and other security measures.
However, it is worth pointing out that statistics on home invasions are hard to come by; as Home Invasion News points out, the crime has not yet been "legally defined" as a federal offense in the U.S., making purported facts about home invasions difficult to verify and possibly misleading.