Ilana Gold and Thomas Kienzler
A Barkhamsted man was woken late Sunday night when a woman allegedly forced her way into his house, smashed his phones and took his wallet and checkbook. It turns out he got into a car accident with her the day before, and when they exchanged information she found out where he lived.
An 87-year-old Barkhamsted man is lucky to be alive after he was the victim of a home invasion late Sunday night and his phone was ripped from his hand when he tried to call for help.
Investigators said Maria Delcarmin Pacheco, 29, of Hartford, was the person who barged into John Mihalak’s home, and the victim knew exactly where investigators could find her.Mihalak and Pacheco had gotten into a car crash at an intersection in Granby the day before and they exchanged information, so she knew where he lived and that he could have been an easy target.
Late Sunday night, Mihalak answered his front door and found Pacheco right there.
“She barged, in, pushed me against the wall,” Mihalak said.
She demanded money to get her brother out of jail and wouldn’t take no for an answer, Mihalak said.
“I have problems walking, I tire easily I sure was not in condition for a fight that night,” Mihalak said.
He made it to the phone and started to call 911, but Pacheco was right behind him.
“She took this phone and smashed it on the floor. She knocked my medical alert thing away,” he said.
Seconds later, Pacheco went into Mihalak’s bedroom.
“I kept begging to please leave and that will be the end of it,” Mihalak explained.
He said she took his wallet and checkbook, then took off.
When police responded, Mihalak gave them the accident report with Pacheco’s name and address.
Authorities arrested her and said they found Mihalak’s belongings.
“Terribly thankful,” Mihalak said.
Mihalak said he still could not believe what happened inside his home.
“I was really frightened I was going to have a heart attack,” Mihalak said. “I could have been dead.”
Pacheco is being held at York Correctional Institution on $75,000 bond and Mihalak said he was thankful Pacheco is behind bars, but he is still worried about his safety.
“Looking in the driveway to see who’s coming back,” Mihalak said.
All he can do now is more aware.
Police said Pacheco has an extensive criminal history and was on probation during the alleged robbery.
She has been charged with home invasion, first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree larceny from a person, third-degree robbery, credit card theft, third-degree assault on an elderly person, interfering with an emergency call, drug paraphernalia and other charges.
Bond for Pacheco was originally set at $50,000 but was increased to $75,000, according to court records.