A 22-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the brutal beating and robbery of an elderly Phoenix woman Saturday morning.
Andrew James Mathieson was booked into the Maricopa County Jail after he was arrested about 10 p.m. Sunday night, according to Sgt. Trent Crump of the Phoenix Police Department.
Mathieson was booked on felony charges of robbery, aggravated assault, residential burglary, auto theft and arson.
Police said the 76-year-old woman was in her recliner watching TV alone in her home near 36th Avenue and Rose Garden about 3 a.m. Saturday when someone broke into an her unlocked home, approached her from behind, choked her unconscious, beat and robbed her.
Crump said an additional charge of sexual assault could be filed but that forensic evidence would be needed to corroborate the suspicion. Crump said Mathieson confessed to the assault and robbery, but denied the crime was sexually motivated.
Crump also said Mathieson made statements that alluded to an accomplice, but that police had not verified that claim.
The victim's stolen car was found just a couple crashed into a retaining wall of a wash near her home.
A break in the case came when officers found an identification belonging to someone other than Mathieson where the car was found. Crump said that ID led police to others "who could tell us who committed the offense."
Crump said the suspect tried to burn the victim's 2005 Chevrolet Cavalier, but that the fire appeared to self-extinguish due to lack of air.
Crump said the victim was released from the hospital and was staying with family in the Valley.
The victim's 2005 Chevy Cavalier was found late Saturday morning a few miles from her home. Police said a motive is not clear at this point.
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