Eric Vanyo steals from elderly while they're sleeping, detectives say

19-year-old arrested after blood left at crime scene used to collect DNA

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. – A 19-year-old man is accused of sneaking into the homes of two elderly people and stealing from them while they slept.

Eric Vanyo was arrested late Thursday night in connection with an Aug. 6 burglary in Pompano Beach.

Broward Sheriff's Office detectives said Vanyo pried open the door to a 93-year-old World War II veteran's home and stole a television, power tools and even the wedding ring that the widower had worn since 1944. The man's wife died in 2007.

It was believed to be the second time Vanyo burglarized the man's home. Detectives believe he opened the master bedroom window in July, stealing a gold ring, watch and two rolls of quarters from the man's dining room.

That same night, Vanyo sneaked into a 93-year-old woman's home through the laundry room, detectives said. The woman woke up to find Vanyo rummaging through her dresser drawers. He got away with several pieces of jewelry.

However, Vanyo cut himself during the first burglary, leaving behind a crucial piece of evidence that detectives said ultimately led to his arrest.

Detectives said DNA evidence from blood found at the scene linked Vanyo to the crime. Detectives said he told them he sold the stolen items at a pawn shop.

Vanyo faces three counts of occupied burglary, fraud and possession of stolen property.

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