Great-grandmother outsmarts would-be robber in Indianapolis

Great-grandmother outsmarts would-be robber in Indianapolis

Credit: ABC News/ Indianapolis Police Department

Matthew Ellis, 33, allegedly forced his way into a woman's home, acting as if he had a gun, although no weapon was seen and tried to rob her, a police report said.

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by ABC News

WHAS11.com

Posted on March 10, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Updated Monday, Mar 10 at 11:36 AM

(ABC NEWS) -- An 85-year-old great-grandmother outmaneuvered a would-be burglar who pushed his way into her Indianapolis house, police said.

Marion Duncan was asleep when she heard a knock on her door around 6:20 a.m. on Friday morning. Thinking it might have been her great-grandson who lived next door, Duncan answered the door, not expecting to see her lifelong neighbor who police said was out to rob her.

Neighbor Matthew Ellis, 33, allegedly forced his way into Duncan's home, acting as if he had a gun, although no weapon was seen, a police report said.

Ellis allegedly went through her purse, grabbing $11 in cash, a cell phone and her debit card, according to police, and then he asked Duncan for her pin number, warning that he'd be back if she gave him the wrong number -- which she did.

Police said Ellis allegedly took Duncan down to the basement and locked her inside. He allegedly took the car keys to her silver Cadillac, and drove off with it after stuffing her plasma TV inside, police said. What Ellis didn't know was that the basement had a back door through which the wily grandmother managed to escape.

Duncan's grandson, Nathan Duncan told ABC News he was in the shower when his grandmother started pounding on his front door.

While his wife and grandmother called 911, Nathan Duncan threw on some clothes, jumped in his van and drove around to the closest ATMs in the area looking for Ellis.

"By the time I was about to reach the last one, the police already had him," Nathan Duncan said. "They'd done the exact same thing."

At first, Ellis allegedly resisted police, who said they were forced to tase him. He was arrested on multiple charges, including robbery, auto theft, criminal confinement and resisting arrest.

The fact that the suspect lived just across the street from Marion Duncan made the ordeal "hit even closer to home," Nathan Duncan said, adding the family had grown up in the neighborhood with Ellis, but lost touch in recent years after he got "into really bad lifestyles."

Meanwhile, Marion Duncan recovered everything that had been stolen earlier that day. She went with police to identify Ellis, all the while remaining "cool and calm," her grandson said.

"She didn't want to show him she was upset or fearful. Her goal was just to get out of the house," Nathan Duncan said. "She's a trooper, she's a tough lady. They don't make ladies like that anymore."

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