INVER GROVE HEIGHTS, Minn. (KMSP) - A 22-year-old South St. Paul, Minn. man is accused of breaking into six different houses in Inver Grove Heights in one night and climbing into bed with some of the residents while they were sleeping.
On May 7, 11-year-old Vanessa Iguanero woke up to a man sleeping between her and her 6-year-old sister around 3 a.m. Vanessa said she was afraid to scream. The man ran out of the room when she got up to turn the light on.
“I didn't want to wake up my parents because I thought he might have a gun or a knife and he might do something to my parents,” Iquanero said.
According to charges, Tyler Rodriguez broke into six homes within a one-mile radius of each other.
Rodriguez appeared to be drunk or on drugs. Victims report him entering their homes between 2:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. Twice he was discovered by people living in the homes, sleeping beside them.
“It's hard to believe quite frankly that this type of behavior can occur,” Dakota County Prosecutor Jim Backstrom said.
Each time, investigators said Rodriguez broke in through first floor screens or windows, which would explain some of his scratches seen in his mug shot, and blood left behind at some of the homes. A guitar was stolen from one location, at another he was chased out by homeowners with a baseball bat.
Vanessa and her mother are grateful he didn't touch any of her or any of her four brothers and sisters.
“If he did something to my sister, then my sister would be sad right now. I’m glad he didn't do anything to her,” Vanessa said. “But I'm still scared because I feel still scared because I feel like another guy is going to come in my house and do it again."
Rodriguez was arrested shortly after breaking into a home on Denton Way around 4:30 a.m. He appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He is being charged with two counts of first-degree burglary and four counts of trespassing.
Rodriguez remains in custody at the Dakota County Jail, and according to his charges he denies any involvement in the break-ins.