Man arrested in home invasion robbery of elderly woman

Man arrested in home invasion robbery of elderly woman

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The Austin Police Department's Burglary Unit is seeing more cases happening at night.

Austin Police say 32-year-old, Jonathan Hodges, isn't your run of the mill burglar. He broke into a North Austin home and stole cash, jewelry, and credit cards. Hodges did it in the middle of the night, at one in the morning. It was also Sunday, December 9.

Sgt Robert Hester says weekends and night times are typically when people are at home, making this crime unusual.

"It takes a different personality to do a nighttime burglary as opposed to daytime when they are counting on no one being at home. At night, they're planning on someone being there," Hester said.

It's that personality that Sgt. Hester says led Hodges to attack the 97-year-old woman who woke up and met him in the hallway.

Police say he beat and kicked her and even tried to strangle her with Life Alert necklace. It's what Vicki Branning credits to saving her mom's life.

"She was able to push it and activated EMS," Branning said.

Austin Police say they are seeing another disturbing trend, that many night time burglaries are happening because people are leaving their doors unlocked.

"One of the big problems that we have is individuals not even securing their doors and windows. We're seeing the trend that the entry is unsecured doors and windows," said Hester.

Home and car burglaries go up during the holidays. That's why Austin Police are out and about, trying to raise awareness. Making sure people lock their doors, hide their belongings, and be aware of their surroundings.

As for Branning's 97-year-old mother, she is recovering and ok, even though Branning is worried.

"Very concerned about her, living by yourself at that age is concerning but they seem to want to stay in their homes."

The victim told police she had seen the suspect several times in her neighborhood prior to the incident.

Hodges is charged with burglary of a habitation, a first degree felony. If he's convicted, he could face life in prison. By the way, he has 21 prior arrests including robbery, assault, and burglary.

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