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Arrest of suspect who robbed OC 90-year-old

December 8, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
An arrest was made on Thursday after two men forced a 90-year-old Rossmoor woman into her house and robbed her.

"He said we won't hurt you if you do what we say," said the victim Barbara, only going by her first name. She said the home invasion last over 30 minutes.

"He had the gun and I didn't," she said. "So I just assumed I'd be alive if I followed his orders as he gave them to me."

Barbara said the ordeal began when one of the suspects began asking her questions as she was entering her home after grabbing the newspaper in the morning. She said they asked her if she was the only person in the home and if she kept guns in the house.

They held Barbara at gunpoint and ordered her to sit down and they placed a towel over her head.

"My heart was beating so hard," said Barbara. "I mean I could feel it and all I could think was 'don't have a heart attack Barbara; don't' have a heart attack.'"

Barbara remained calm, even offering to help the robbers to speed things up.

"I yelled at them, 'All the jewelry is in the second drawer; it's costume jewelry,'" she said.

Barbara said the suspects stole a number of items, including her husband's three military wings he received while serving in the U.S. Air Force. They also ripped jewelry from her wrists while tying her up with electrical cord before taking off. While lying on the floor, Barbara was able to push her Life Alert button to notify police.

Her sharp memory helped an artist make a sketch of one suspect. The Orange County Sheriff's Department confirmed that an arrest was made at about 3 a.m. after an investigator recognized the man from a burglary in Sunset Beach four months ago.

The investigator pulled up a photo of the suspect from the previous crime, and Barbara was able to pick the suspect out of a photo lineup. The 23-year-old parolee was arrested at his home in Long Beach. His name has not been released.

Deputies are still looking for a second suspect. He is believed to be in his 20s and around 5 feet 5 inches in height.

Anyone with information related to the case is urged to contact Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS.


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