Clearwater woman awakens to find intruder in her bedroom, man suspected in other cases

Edwin O. Figueroa , Pinellas County Jail booking photo
Edwin O. Figueroa , Pinellas County Jail booking photo

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A homeless man is behind bars after police say he broke into a woman’s residence and the woman awakened to find him standing in her bedroom.

A Clearwater Police Department spokesperson said officers arrested Edwin O. Figueroa 48, on charges of occupied residential burglary and grand theft.

Detectives say that Figueroa entered a Clearwater home through an unsecured window at 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 16.

The homeowner, Andrea Sofarelli was awakened when her dog started barking and she saw a man standing in her bedroom. The suspect then fled the residence through the front door.

Surveillance video recorded on her Ring doorbell, shows Figueroa putting on his gloves and trying the door handle.

Sofarelli told News Channel 8 he slit the screen, crawled through an open window and came into her bedroom.

“Charlie [her dog] was barking like a maniac. I wake up and I see a silhouette of a man standing at the end of my bed,” she said.

“Half asleep, half awake thinking oh God. And then he’s telling me to put a pillow over my head and it was my gut instinct that said, you scream at the top of your lungs.”

The suspect took off out the front door, but thanks to Sofarelli’s door camera, he couldn’t hide for long.

His face was blasted all over social media, and he was later identified as Figueroa.

Figueroa was picked up on a warrant Thursday in Pinellas County.

“The police officers told me, if they didn’t have that video because he was wearing gloves, they’d have nothing to go on,” said Sofarelli.

Sofarelli said Charlie is her hero for waking her up that morning and she hopes Figueroa gets what he deserves.

“Very fortunate. As I said earlier, I rescued him [Charlie]. I feel he saved my life,” Sofarelli said.  “I hope that he’s [Figueroa] in there for a long time now and he’s not able to do this to anybody else,” she said.

Clearwater police became aware of Figueroa as a suspect after they were notified by detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, who had taken him into custody for other crimes.

Detectives believe the man could be involved in similar cases in Pinellas County.


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