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San Bernardino home invasion suspect sought

March 14, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is under way for an armed man who tied up three women and robbed their San Bernardino home Tuesday night.

One of the women had returned home from teaching a class at California State University, San Bernardino around 9 p.m. in the 3700 block of Ridge Line Drive. The suspect was reportedly hiding in the bushes, jumped out and put a gun to the woman's head, demanding that she enter the home.

Once inside the home, he used zip ties to tie up the three women -- two sisters and their 80-year-old mother who has Alzheimer's disease and cannot walk well.

One of the victims, who did not want to be identified, said she was very shaken up by the invasion. She said the suspect tried to tie her up twice, first with tape and then with nylon rope before resorting to the zip ties. Throughout the ordeal, she thought she was going to die.

The suspect got away with ATM cards, bank PINs, and other valuables including one of the victim's cars. The suspect allegedly withdrew $500 from one bank account. According to that victim, the bank has reimbursed the money.

One of the victims, who did not want to be identified, said that the suspect told the women to "have a nice day" before leaving the house.

Neighbor Robert Cuencas offered the women comfort and said he wants to make sure this never happens again.

"We live on the hill so a lot of people come up here walking, [and] sometimes we see cars parked here. So we're going to be more alert on that and do our best, if we see a car parked for more than a little time, we're going to call the police or make sure that person is of the neighborhood," said Cuencas. "We live in really desperate times right now, people are doing desperate things and it's a sad case."

The suspect wore a mask but San Bernardino police described the gunman as a Hispanic male in his 20s. Police are also on the lookout for the victim's stolen car, described as a 2002 silver 2-door Toyota Echo with an American flag on the rear bumper.

Anyone with information about the robbery or the suspect was asked to call the San Bernardino Police Department at (909) 384-5656.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated the home's address was 3700 Ridgeline Avenue. The correct street is Ridge Line Drive.


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