WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — An elderly woman living alone was robbed and forced to take her clothes off during a home invasion in Westmoreland County. Now, police in Rostraver Township are searching for the intruder and warning other residents.
The Sweeney Plan behind the Rostraver Shopping Center is typically quiet. But an alarming incident around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday has people extra alert.
“It’s very personal to us, it’s very degrading,” Rostraver Police Chief Greg Resetar said. “There’s no elderly person that needs to live in fear like this.”
Resetar says a woman in her 80s heard a knock at the door. When she answered, there was was a man claiming he had run out of gas. He asked to use the woman’s phone. The woman wouldn’t let the man in, but she offered to make the call for him. When the call went to voicemail, she offered to give the man some gas from a can in her garage.
At that point, the intruder forced his way into the home and demanded money. The woman handed over cash, but it didn’t stop there.
“He ordered her to disrobe,” Resetar said, “And she said she questioned why and then he became a little more aggressive.”
The intruder told the woman to stay inside because someone was watching her home. After he left, she called the police.
“Of course, it’s very disturbing,” Resetar said. “First of all, her privacy was infringed upon, then secondly, she had money stolen from her and then her dignity was stolen from her.”
Police say solving this case is a top priority. They are looking at surveillance video from nearby businesses in the neighborhood. They are also hoping some fingerprints collected from one of the telephones inside the woman’s house helps lead to a suspect.
Police say another neighbor in the area heard tapping on a window around that same time, in the middle of the night. Authorities are warning people in the neighborhood to be extra cautious.
“Keep the doors locked,” Resetar said. “Under no circumstances are you to permit anyone into your residence. Call the police.”