FULLERTON, Calif. - A trio of armed robbers stormed a senior living facility in Fullerton late Thursday night, then made off with a small amount of money and a car, authorities said.
No one was injured in the crime, which occurred about 11:10 p.m. at the Las Palmas Home Care located in the 100 block of Las Palmas Drive, according to the Fullerton Police Department.
Two female caregivers and four elderly patients, all in their 90s, were inside the live-in elderly care facility at the time of the incident, investigators said.
The caregivers heard a knock on the door and saw a woman outside. Thinking it was a latenight delivery, the caregivers opened the door.
That's when two male suspects, both described as thin and approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall, emerged at the doorway, police said. One of the men was armed with a handgun, and the other was armed with a shotgun. The woman and the two men were wearing masks, investigators said.
"They knocked on the door, and my mom answered and they threw her to the floor and pointed a gun at her," said Daniella Martinez.
After the suspects ordered the two caregivers to the ground at gunpoint, the robbers forced them into a closet. The suspects then ransacked the facility, stole a caregiver's vehicle and fled.
"They just looked throughout the whole house," Martinez said. "They grabbed my mom's purse and took her phone, and then they took her car."
The four elderly residents of the facility were in their bedrooms and sleeping at the time and were not affected by the incident, police said. The two caregivers suffered some minor bruising.
The vehicle taken by the suspects was described as a blue 2002 Volkswagen Jetta with California license plate 7WFP278.
Area residents say they believe they could have been targeted, too.
"At around 11:15, we just heard doorbells, like a doorbell ringing. And it was twice, and it was kind of odd, and so my grandma woke up, and we started to check out the premises out here, no one was there," said Matt Duarte, a neighbor. "They might have hit up all these houses and ringing doorbells and seeing who was home or not, and they just picked the one across the street."
The brazen robbery has local residents on edge. Police reminded residents that if they get a late knock on the door, don't open it unless you know who it is.
If you have any information about this case, you're urged to contact Sgt. M. Rowe at (714) 738-6116 or Detective B. Phu at (714) 738-6534. You can also submit anonymous tips by calling Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.