A man knocked on the door of an 80-year-old woman's home and said he was there to inspect the roof. Thinking it was odd that someone would inspect a roof on a Sunday, the woman questioned him.
Then, he shoved her, burst into her home, flashed a knife, and demanded money and jewelry.
But the Potomac, Maryland, senior outsmarted her attacker and was able to escape to safety, police say.
Robert Dove, 39, is accused of breaking into her home on Stable Way about 4 p.m. Oct. 14. Montgomery County police say the victim gave him cash and a piece of jewelry, and then he ordered her to drive to an ATM to get more money.
The woman talked with him and he told her his name and that he was supposed to be under police supervision. The victim drove him to a farm, and they went to a restaurant together. Finally, the victim told Dove she would pay for a hotel room for him for three nights.
She dropped him off and then told a friend what had happened. Fearing retribution, she was afraid to call police right away.
"She was fearful, but throughout the entire ordeal, she made decisions that she thought were best for herself, to keep herself safe," police spokeswoman Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti said at a news conference Monday.
The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office arrested Dove at the hotel in Rockville the next day. Later that day, the victim called police and reported the crimes.
Police interviewed Dove, and he confessed, police said. He and the victim did not know each other, but he had previously lived in her home, according to police.
Dove was charged with home invasion, armed robbery, first-degree assault and kidnapping. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.