PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) – The victim of a recent home invasion in Phoenix says the armed robber told her he came in because her garage door was open.
The robbery happened earlier this month around 8:50 a.m. near 26th Street and Union Hills Drive.
Jill Hovland said she was at her kitchen counter after getting home 10 minutes prior. She left her garage door open because she was waiting for a tree trimmer and was about to head back outside. Then, she heard an alarm go off, saying, “garage door open.”
“I thought, ‘Well my husband, why is he home from work at this time of day?’ And I looked up and the man was holding a gun to my face,” said Hovland. “In my mind I was thinking, this is real. This, this is real.”
As they stood face to face in the kitchen, her dog jumped off the couch and ran up to the man. Hovland says the man bent down and hit her dog.
“I think he realized there was tension. I think and that’s when he come up off that couch and went after him,” Hovland said. “He reached down and hit my dog and the dog yelped, went back on the couch.”
By that point, Hovland handed the armed robber the cash that was on the counter for the tree trimmer. However, she said he wanted more. He walked her down the hall to her bedroom while pointing the gun at her and demanded that she put all of her jewelry into a pillowcase.
“I was fumbling and I said, ‘This doesn’t happen all the time, sorry, I’m nervous’ and he said ‘Never mind, I’m not going to hurt you,'” Hovland recalled.
She said the man was in and out of her house in about 10 minutes, but she said it felt like forever.
“On the way out he said, ‘This wouldn’t have happened if your garage door wasn’t open,” Hovland said, holding back tears. “Kind of trying to make me feel bad and I just wanted him to be gone.”
She said he grabbed her phone from the counter on his way out. As he drove off, she ran to a neighbor’s house for help.
That same morning, about 20 minutes earlier, Phoenix police responded to another home invasion near Tatum and Grovers. They said it is too soon to tell if the cases are connected.
Hovland said he took more than money and jewelry, he took her peace of mind.
“When I hear the alarm say ‘Garage door open,’ my husband comes in and he goes ‘It’s just me!’ Because I get scared,” Hovland explained. “Now of course the garage door is closed, the door to the house from the garage is locked.”
Police say the pair made statements connecting them to several armed robberies around town.
Hovland says she is meeting with detectives on Tuesday for an update on the case. And they may have some new information for her.
On Monday night, police announced they had arrested two men who are allegedly connection with a string of armed robberies around the Valley.
Armondo Dangerfield and Lateyon Finley, both 27, were arrested on Monday. Both suspects face charges of armed robbery and aggravated assault, as well as additional felony charges.
After the pair was taken into custody Monday, police say the men made statements connecting them to four other armed robberies. Police say that during those crimes, the suspects would enter the homes through an open garage door. Once inside, police say they would hold the victims at gunpoint and demand valuables.
Below is a list of crimes allegedly connected to the two suspects:
- Nov. 23,at 9:20 a.m. – near 10400 E. Mission Lane, Scottsdale
- Nov. 16 at 6:40 p.m. – near 5000 E. Cholla Street
- Nov. 17 at 5:00 p.m. – near 900 E. Hearn Road
- Nov. 18 at 8:40 a.m. – near 5000 E. Moreno Drive
- Nov. 18 at 8:50 a.m. – near 18000 N. 26th Street