Burglar threatens elderly woman with screwdriver, steals her car

SAN DIEGO -- A burglar caught ransacking an 82-year-old San Ysidro woman's home on Thursday threw the resident to the ground, threatened her with a screwdriver and stole her car, authorities said.

The home-invasion robbery in the 200 block of West Park Avenue, south of Beyer Boulevard, was reported shortly after 9 a.m., according to San Diego police.

The victim arrived home to find a man holding a screwdriver ransacking her living room. When she confronted the burglar, he grabbed the victim and threw her to the floor before demanding her car keys, police said. The suspect took the keys and fled in her car.

"I didn’t hear anything happen," said Carolina Ramirez, neighbor.

Ramirez lives across the trolley tracks from the victim, she woke to news of the burglary next door.

"It’s kind of scary for sure, kind of surprised," said Ramirez.

Ramirez has lived in the neighborhood all her life, but doesn't know the victim.  She said for the most part the area is safe.

"Always a really calm neighborhood, always really calm," said Ramirez.

"It's a sad thing," said Rudy Avila, neighbor.

Avila lives down the street and said the neighborhood is changing.

"We've been getting a sudden spurt in crime," said Avila.  "We’ve been having meetings with the police, they’re trying their best, they’ve been sending their volunteers during the day."

Ramirez said the home invasion has her rethinking her security and her neighbor's too.

"So I’m going to keep a look out for her too, because it’s scary because anything can happen you know?" said Ramirez.

The victim described the thief as a thin, roughly 5-foot-7-inch Latino in his 30s, wearing a black zip-up jacket with a white design on it. He fled the neighborhood in the woman's silver Toyota Camry, which was recovered about an hour later, Officer Tony Martinez said.

Medics took the victim to a hospital for evaluation of "minor abrasions" to the back of her head, according to police.

The robber remained at large as of Thursday afternoon.