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Man arrested in robbery of woman at church
By REBECCA CATALANELLO, Times Staff Writer
Published December 22, 2007
TAMPA - An intruder in a church office robbed a 71-year-old woman at knife point, forced her to get on the floor and stripped off her pants, then escaped with her car, cell phone, sapphire ring and $5.
The attack occurred about6:45 p.m. Tuesday at Town 'N Country Baptist Church, saidHillsborough Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Callaway.
Reached by phone, the woman said she had been alone in the building, counting members' titheswhen she heard a knock.
The man on the other side said in broken English that he wanted to see the pastor. She turned to get an appointment pad so the stranger could set a return time.
But when the woman returned to take his phone number, she said he pointed a knife at her neck and demanded cash.
Working with his sleeves covering his hands, the man dumped the contents of her purse on the floor, she said. He pulled out five dollars and picked up her cell phone, her keys and the diamond and sapphire ring her daughter had given her.
He took her to the pastor's office and told her to lay on the floor, she said. Then he pulled off her pants, and she feared what would come next.
But what could have come next didn't. The man fled, taking her clothes, driving off in her car.
On Friday, deputies arrested Alexis Del Valle, 23, and charged him with robbery with a deadly weapon, grand theft motor vehicle, armed kidnapping and battery on a victim over 65.
They also found the woman's ring at a pawn shop, adding charges of dealing in stolen property and giving false information to a pawnbroker. Del Valle is being held without bail.