Two longtime felons were charged with stealing more than $7,000 from an elderly Bloomington couple as part of a property inspection scam that turned into a violent home invasion.
Robert L. Gabrio, 45, of Aitkin, Minn., and Danny L. Denzer, 56, of Mounds View were both charged in Hennepin County District Court with burglary, while Denzer also was charged with aggravated robbery and threats of violence. Both remain jailed ahead of court appearances Wednesday.
Gabrio rushed toward officers in a basement bedroom Sunday, “holding the knife in a stabbing position before turning back” toward the woman in the moments before his arrest, the criminal complaint read.
“Please take this time to speak to your family members, friends and neighbors about scams that target the elderly,” read a statement from police.
Both men have long criminal histories in Minnesota that date back decades, according to court records.
Denzer has been convicted at least eight times for assault or domestic assault, twice for drug crimes, twice for theft and once for burglary.
Gabrio has been convicted at least five times for burglary, twice for theft, and once each for robbery, credit card fraud, receiving stolen property and making terroristic threats.
According to police:
Gabrio went to the couple’s home in the 2800 block of W. 101st Street last month and said he was a Hennepin County inspector and pointed out “violations.”The same man and an accomplice returned Sunday night, forced their way into the home and demanded money. The woman was assaulted and forced at knife point to hand over $7,160 from a safe.
Police were notified of the incident as it was unfolding by someone who had been on the phone with the woman.
Officers arrived and arrested Denzer and then responded to the woman’s yells from a back bedroom. They arrested Gabrio and retrieved the money after he dropped his knife. The woman suffered a cut to her ear and bumps on her head.