Rowlett PD: Man posed as repairman to rob homeowner

- Police in Rowlett are looking for a robber who held up a woman at gunpoint inside her own home on Thursday.

The woman’s teenage son interrupted the robbery when he came home from school.

The robber terrorized the victim for about half an hour. He held a gun to her head and forced her to point out valuables in the home. He got access to the home by pretending to be a repair technician.

Thalia Estrada says a robber ransacked her mother's home and stole jewelry and a phone while keeping a gun trained on her mother.

“She thought if this is my time, it's my time,” Estrada said. “She just hoped my kids don't come home when this is happening, and he could hurt them. So she just wanted him in and out as soon as possible.”

The victim, too shaken up to talk on camera, says the robber only left when he heard the victim's teenage son come home from school. They didn't cross paths, but the robber rushed out of the house.

The robbery started in the garage. The man came to the home, pretending he was answering a Home Depot service call. The victim had called the store about a dryer that was delivered one day earlier and initially trusted the man.

But police say Home Depot's legitimate appointment wasn't scheduled until Saturday.

“I wouldn't open that door. Tell him, ‘give me one minute. Let me make a call,’” said Rowlett Detective Cruz Hernandez. “Call the store and find out if it's a legitimate repair man. If he is, he's going to stick around. If he's not, he's going to move on.”

Detectives don't yet know how the robber knew to target the woman’s home but say she knew something was up when the man spent several minutes flipping switches in the breaker box.

The woman tried to close the garage door on him, but he stepped over a sensor and pulled a gun, pushing the victim into the house.

One day after the robbery, the Estrada family has beefed up security and counted their blessings that in the end no one was hurt.

“At the end of the day, those are material things,” Estrada said. “And we're just happy she's ok and nobody actually got hurt.”

The robbery happened Thursday shortly after 2 p.m. The neighborhood is near Kirby and Chaha in Rowlett.

Police are following leads and looking at neighbor's surveillance videos. One video shows the suspect drove a Dodge single cab pickup. The left front tire looked like it was a spare. It had a black rim.

The suspect was in his late 40s. He's white with a thin goatee. Anyone with information is urged to contact the Rowlett Police Department.

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