HAMMOND, Ind. (CBS) — Police say victims are being targeted inside their own homes in a series of frightening attacks in Hammond, Indiana.
CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reported spoke to one of the victims Wednesday.
The pair of grandparents had a gun pointed at them as they stuffed their prized possessions into a bag for the man with the gun.
They remained shaken Wednesday, so they weren’t ready to go on camera just yet.
The husband said he was on the couch at home in the 4300 block of Elm Avenue sometime before 8 p.m. Monday, when he heard a noise in another room. When he walked over to check it out, he looked up and saw a man with a gun pointed right at him.
The man with the gun demanded that the couple give him everything small and valuable he could carry – cash, cards, jewelry, family heirlooms they’d had from Mexico.
The couple couldn’t get a good look at the man because he had a hooded sweat shirt on – and the strings were pulled so tight that they could only see his mouth. Whenever they tried to look at his face, he’d yell at them to look away.
The man with the gun stole the couple’s phones as he exited the house with his gun still drawn at the couple while they stood at the door.
The couple was helpless and unable to call 911 until he was out of sight and they could run to a neighbor’s house.
They had no idea that just minutes later, the man with the gun would strike another home and another victim just blocks away.
The woman living in the 4900 block of Oak Avenue told police the man held her at gunpoint and stole money and credit cards, just like he’d done about 40 minutes before.
But that woman was not his last victim. About four hours later around 1 a.m., police were called to a house in the 6600 block of California Avenue a few miles away.
This time, a woman reported she was asleep to find the man in her house. Not only did he say she stole her money, but she said he sexually assaulted her too.
Parra was told all the victims in the home invasions were traumatized. And while New Year’s Day was a holiday, Hammond police were working tirelessly to find the man.
Hammond police advised that if neighbors see anyone suspicious or someone matching the description, they should stay inside with the doors and windows locked and call 911. The man behind the home invasions is extremely dangerous police said.
Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call Hammond police Detective Sgt. Pinarski at (219) 852-2983, or Detective Sgt. Munoz at (219) 852-2995.