Family tied up during home invasion

March 16, 2010 2:26:21 PM PDT
A northwest Houston man says she lost his family's entire life's savings when he was jumped by a group of men while arriving home last night. But the attackers didn't get a chance to stay in the home for very long. Investigators are looking for the five masked men who they say barged into the home on Pearsall in the Willowbridge subdivision. The thieves got away with a safe with valuables and half a million dollars cash inside.

Investigators say the safe was stolen from the master bedroom inside this home. They believe that's all the men took, but we're told it contained the homeowner's life's savings.

"Keeping a whole lotta cash at home, you risk something like this occurring," said Lt. Jeff Stauber with the Harris County Sheriff's Department.

Detectives say a 17-year-old girl called 911 around 8:20pm Monday after hearing the commotion downstairs. She'd been upstairs when they barged into the house and locked herself in a bedroom which the suspects apparently never searched.

We're told the homeowner was just returning to the house from his convenience store in Greenspoint, that three of the suspects jumped him at the front door. When a family member came out to see what was happening, two more suspects joined in, pushing the victims into the home.

"They were put on the ground and tied up with scarves," said Lt. Stauber.

Detectives say as the gunmen ransacked the home, they heard sirens. As they arrived, four were speeding off through the neighborhood in a getaway car. One fled on foot. None have yet been found.

A man who answered the door Tuesday morning would say only that the four victims were shaken up, but physically OK. Neighbors are on edge.

"It really scares me," said neighbor Rebecca James. "I never expected that something like that would happen right across the street from me."

"I was very scared, because we live along the ditch in the back where someone would probably run if they were trying to get away," added neighbor Cindy Szepe.

Investigators say they are working to find the suspects as quickly as possible. They consider them armed and dangerous. Descriptions are too vague to be of much use to the general public. They are five men in black wearing gloves and masks. Deputies believe one of the suspects left a gun behind at the scene. They are scouring that for any evidence that might lead to identification of a suspect.


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