HAZELWOOD, Mo. – A 31-year-old man who broke into a woman’s apartment while she was in the hospital faces charges after being found drinking a margarita in her kitchen. Nearby residents said they noticed similarities with other break-ins that happened early Tuesday morning.
“They went inside the residence; they encountered a gentleman there sitting in the kitchen, against the wall, drinking a margarita,” Lt. James Taschner, Hazelwood Police Department, said.
That man broke into the victim’s apartment around 2:30 a.m. before popping open a margarita from her fridge.
“It is an odd set of circumstances,” St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said.
Something the victim witnessed from her Ring camera, all while in the hospital.
“Just imagine coming home and someone just sitting in your living room; that would be scary,” Bell said.
One resident in the same neighborhood said that was her reality.
“Our car has, you know, been broken into again,” said Dominique Jennings, who lives just feet away from the woman who had her apartment broken into.
Jennings said her car was broken into about an hour before the apartment break-in.
“The crazy thing is, they didn’t want to take anything valuable; we had our credit cards in the car, so I feel like there was a deeper purpose,” Jennings said.
“We don’t get a lot of burglaries in Hazelwood,” Taschner said.
The suspect, Torian Bronner, 31, was arrested thanks to the help of a tiny piece of technology.
“If there’s a crime in the area, we will go door-to-door to see who’s got Ring doorbell cameras,” Taschner said.
While security cameras can be pricey, Bell said he hopes the county can find other ways of deploying them.
“I hope we do get to a point where companies are willing to donate this type of equipment because it is a valuable security, public safety piece of equipment,” he said.