Fresno home invasion suspect posed as a cop
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Terrifying moments for an elderly Fresno couple who let a man in their home they thought was a police officer.
Fresno Police are working to track down a suspect. They have evidence the armed man left behind and a solid statement from the frightened victims.
The home invasion happened Wednesday night around 10pm on Sooner and Fine in Southeast Fresno.
Police say the suspect gave this trusting couple a bogus story before he was let inside. Moments later, the couple, in their 80's was in for the fight of their lives.
The 85-year-old victim was too upset to talk Thursday about what happened inside her home.
Police say she opened her door Wednesday night to a man wearing a shirt with a star type badge and a baseball cap with the word police across it.
Chief Jerry Dyer says the suspect gave an excuse before the elderly woman let him in. "He told the female that there was someone in their backyard he needed to go outside to check on it unfortunately she opened the door and allowed him to go outside."
Chief Dyer says the suspect went in the backyard then came back inside and tried to tie up the woman with something he brought.
Dalia Gonzalez lives right next door. She got out of bed when she heard strange sounds coming from somewhere nearby. "At first, I thought it was a cat. but then as I kept hearing it, I realized it was someone screaming."
Inside the home, investigators say the suspect was making demands before the woman's husband confronted him.
"He had made some reference that he knew who they were and that he wanted money or jewelry and he was there to take that," Chief Dyer said. "When the husband intervened that's when the suspect struck him across the face with a gun."
Joe Lombardi has lived across the street from the victims for 50 years. He knows them well and says the woman has severe diabetes and her husband has Alzheimer's. He describes the neighborhood as quiet. "I can't believe it. Nothing like this has happened that I know of, you know people breaking in and getting beaten up."
Police say the suspect left at least one item behind, with his DNA on it. The victims told officers he got away with keys to their home and car.
Neighbors say they plan to keep a closer eye on who is around their neighborhood and who doesn't belong there. "Sometimes you know people say it's snitching or being nosy. No, it's about caring for one another."
Investigators say the suspect did have a brief conversation with the victims where he also mentioned some personal details. The chief doesn't believe the victims knew him, but he knew who they were.
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