Suspect arrested in Hollywood burglaries, sexual assaults

DNA evidence links Andre McGriff to crimes, police say

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor, Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A man opened a bedroom window to a Hollywood home early one morning in December and made his way inside, sexually assaulting a teenage girl before rummaging through her mother's belongings and threatening to kill the teen if she told police.

That same man struck another Hollywood home less than a month later, this time sexually assaulting a woman who lived there before getting away with less than $10 in cash, police said.

Andre McGriff was arrested Friday on multiple charges, including sexual battery, burglary and false imprisonment.

Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said DNA evidence collected at both scenes led detectives to McGriff.

"The safety of our residents is our top priority," acting Hollywood Police Chief Chris O'Brien said. "I am proud of all the work done by our department, from the officers who conducted surveillance operations to our detectives and crime scene technicians who worked diligently to identify the suspect."

According to one of two Hollywood police probable cause affidavits, a 13-year-old girl was home alone putting towels in her mother's room on the morning of Dec. 4 when she saw McGriff climb inside through her mother's bedroom window. The girl tried to run away, but McGriff grabbed her and covered her mouth, telling her to shut up.

McGriff then led the girl back into her mother's room, told her to face the bed and asked her, "Where is the money?" according to the report.

The girl told police that McGriff asked her a series of questions before leading her to the loveseat in the living room, where he forced her to touch herself while he took pictures of her. 

"The suspect then told her he would post the pictures on Facebook if she told anyone," the report said.

McGriff, who was wearing a bandanna covering his face and gloves on his hands, left through the front door, the report said.

"He told her numerous times throughout the incident if she called the police, he would come back and kill her because he lives very close," the report said.

Less than a month later, on Jan. 11, a woman was asleep in her bed when she woke up to find McGriff standing over her, demanding gold from her, a second probable cause affidavit said.

McGriff told her not to look at him, hit her on her head and then moved her onto a couch in the living room, where he removed her clothes and fondled her, the report said.

"As her dog barked, the suspect told her to shut the dog up," the report said.

Like in the other burglary, McGriff forced the woman to touch herself while he searched the home for valuables, the report said.

Before he left, McGriff put a blanket over the woman's face and gave her a warning, just like he had the teen girl, police said.

"The suspect told the victim that if she called the police, he would follow her and would 'come f--- her up,'" the report said.

The woman waited several minutes to make sure her attacker was gone before she left with her dog and called police.

McGriff got away with the woman's purse and wallet, taking less than $10 in cash before tossing the other stolen items into her pool, the report said.

Police said DNA swabs taken from the bedroom in the girl's home and the door from the woman's home linked McGriff to the crimes.

"It's not true," McGriff's aunt, Cynthia McGriff, told Local 10 News. "They're just trying to frame him for something he didn't do." 

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