2 Charged in Violent Home Invasion and Burglary - NECN


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2 Charged in Violent Home Invasion and Burglary



    Police announced two arrests in an April 2014 home invasion. (Published Wednesday, June 10, 2015)

    During the early hours of April 24, 2014, a man broke into a Farmington home, held a 66-year-old woman at knifepoint, demanded the combination to her safe and stole $75,000 worth of jewelry, according to police.

    Fourteen months later, Farmington police have made two arrests in connection with the violent home invasion and robbery.

    Robert Costanzo, 45, of Staten Island, New York, and Geovani Melendez, 45, of New Britain, are facing charges in the case. He appeared in court on Tuesday.

    Police started investigating after a 911 call was placed at 4:46 a.m. that morning.

    When they arrived at the South Ridge Road home, the victim told police the intruder pulled her from her bed at knifepoint, held a knife to her throat, and demanded the combination to a safe in the home, and locked her in a closet before leaving with the jewelry, police said.

    After the woman gave him the combination, the intruder stole thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, estimated to be worth around $76,000.

    The victim of the home invasion called the experience the scariest thing she's ever been through.

    "It was a horrible experience. Abolutely horrible experience," the victim told NBC Connecticut under the condition we don't release her name.

    She said she was thankful to Farmington police for their work on the case.

    "I would like to say the Farmington Police Department is magnificent," the victim said. "They never gave up. They cared and they just kept going and going."

    A warrant for the arrest of Costanzo was issued on May 18 and he was taken into custody that day as he appeared in a Staten Island Court for an unrelated case, police said.

    Costanzo was detained on the warrant out of Farmington, held without bond, taken into Farmington police custody on June 8 and transported back to Farmington, where he was charged with home invasion, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree robbery, first-degree larceny and first-degree burglary.

    He is being held on a $1 million court-set bond and will return to Hartford Superior Court in July.

    On May 1, detectives arrested Melendez, who was charged with second-degree hindering prosecution and second-degree false statement.

    After posting his $75,000 court-set bond, he was released and is under electronic monitoring.

    Police tracked the two down through cell phone records and they have DNA evidence linking Costanzo to the crime scene, according to court records. Costanzo placed a call during the home invasion, the victim told police.

    The victim said that the arrests in the case have brought her some relief.

    "I was really excited and I just want to make sure that it doesn't happen to anybody else but it always will," the victim said. "It always will. It was the scariest thing in my life."

    Police said they are investigating and ask anyone with information about the case to call Farmington Police at 860-675-2400 or leave a message on the FPD tip line at 860-675-2483.