Casper police say a man walked into an elderly woman’s home, pointed a gun at her, threw her to the ground and took $8.
Lawrence Anthony Phillips is charged with aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery. Both charges are felonies punishable by between five and 25 years behind bars.
He’s being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, an 87-year-old woman called police at 7:15 p.m. March 2 and said she had been robbed at gunpoint in her home on East Third Street. The woman told police that a man came into her home through the back door, pointed a gun at her and then threw her to the ground before taking $8.
When the robber first entered the home, the victim’s first thoughts were that it was someone who had shoveled snow for her in the past, the affidavit says.
The victim of the alleged robbery told police that the robber seemed to be familiar with her house.
The woman told police that she allowed homeless people to do odd jobs for her at her house like shoveling snow and that she thought the robber looked familiar. Police searched the area but were unable to find anyone matching the robber’s description.
Court records say police viewed security camera from 2nd Street Liquor, which was two blocks away. One person visiting the store shortly before the robbery matched the description of the robber provided by one of the victim’s neighbors.
The robbery victim’s adult daughter told police that she found a cigarette butt next to a doormat outside of the home’s backdoor and placed it in a plastic bag as she thought it might have belonged to the robber.
Phillips was a suspect early on in the investigation, the affidavit says. On March 4, police found Phillips at the CY Motel. Phillips reportedly told a friend that the police were looking for him in the robbery investigation, and his friend called police.
According to the affidavit, Phillips told investigators that he was hiding from police and didn’t understand why he was always being blamed for things. Phillips said, on the night of the robbery, he bought a pack of cigarettes sometime between 6:30 and 6:45 p.m. Phillips also told police that he was one of the people in the surveillance video taken from 2nd Street Liquors.
Phillips denied going into anyone’s home. He reportedly told investigators that he helped a woman with yard work last year. According to the affidavit, Phillips told investigators that the woman asked Phillips if he was hungry and offered him food.
Police then told Phillips the same woman was the woman who was robbed. Phillips reportedly “got teary-eyed” and said he felt bad and that he didn’t have a hateful bone in his body and doesn’t hurt people. He also said the cigarette found at the scene wouldn’t have his DNA on it.
On Tuesday, the Wyoming Crime Lab notified police that the cigarette butt had Phillips’s DNA on it. Phillips was already in custody for allegedly breaking into someone’s home the night before.