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Nov 18, 2013 7:30 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Tucson woman held at gunpoint during robbery inside home

TUCSON- The Pima County Sheriff's Department is investigating an armed robbery on the northwest side.

It happened at around 9:00 Monday morning near Ina and La Cholla.

Mary-Jo Kerrigan was returning home from walking her dog. When she went inside, she says she saw a man in her kitchen. "My very first reaction was I thought it was the exterminator because he comes in and goes around the house," Kerrigan says.

But then she says the man pulled a gun on her. "He held a gun up to me and told me to get down on the ground and put my head down, which I did immediately," Kerrigan says.

After that, she says the man told her to go out back and get inside the pool. Kerrigan told the man she couldn't swim, even though she really can. She says she then got on the ground near the pool. "After about a minute I didn't hear anything so I figured he was gone and it was safe to call the cops at that time," Kerrigan says.

When she went back inside, she found kitchen cabinets open and drawers in disarray. She says the suspect got away with a few valuables, including a laptop and two guns.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department believes the suspect got into the house through a dog door in the back. Deputy Courtney Rodriguez says if you find an intruder inside your home, don't confront the person. "You can't engage them and you can't challenge them because you never know what kind of situation they're going to be in," Rodriguez says. "Try to follow their directions as best you can and get into a safe location."

According the Pima County Sheriff's Department, the location of the armed robbery is in Foothills District 3. The boundaries are Ina Road to the north, Campbell Avenue to the east, River Road to the south and La Cholla Boulevard to the west. So far in 2013 there have been five armed robberies at homes in the area.

"It could have been a lot worse and I'm very grateful," Kerrigan says. "It could have been a totally different outcome."

The suspect is described as a Hispanic man with dark skin and a thin build. He is between 5'4 and 5'5 and he was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt during the robbery. If you have any information call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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