A Flintridge area couple and their adult son were tied up at gunpoint in a Dec. 31 home invasion robbery sheriff’s detectives are investigating along with a similar incident that took place less than 1 mile away earlier that month.
Sgt. Alan Chu, a detective with the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station, said the New Year’s Eve robbery took place at a home on the 800 block of Flintridge Avenue. A female homeowner was outside at around 8:30 p.m. when she was approached by a black man wearing black clothing, black gloves and a ski mask.
The homeowner screamed, and the suspect placed a gloved hand over her mouth and told her to be quiet. That’s when the woman saw two more men, also wearing black clothing, gloves and masks approach the residence.
“They confronted her and pushed their way into the house,” Chu said Tuesday.
Upon learning the woman’s husband and adult son were at home, two of the three men went upstairs while the first suspect stayed downstairs with the woman and demanded money. She gave him money from both her husband’s wallet and her purse.
The male homeowner had been watching TV upstairs when he heard his wife scream and thought at first she might have been scared by a rat or something else outside, according to a sheriff’s report of the incident. Before he could go downstairs to check on her, a second suspect rushed into the room holding a semi-automatic handgun and ordered him to get down on the floor.
Once he was face down on the floor, the man’s hands and feet were restrained, the report stated. The suspect demanded money from the victim, calling him a liar when he could not produce any, and threatening his son.
The couple’s son, who also lives in the residence, was approached by the third suspect while upstairs in his bedroom, according to the sheriff’s report. He was escorted out of his room and down the hallway, was eventually made to lie down next to his father and was similarly restrained. The suspect covered the son with a blanket and told him not to move.
The wife was also brought upstairs and was told to lie down on the carpet next to her husband and son. The three victims heard the suspects rifling through the house for about 15 minutes.
“[The suspects] tossed the whole house and found some money,” Chu said. “They also took a gun, a 50-year-old gun.”
Once the house went quiet, the victims were able to work free from their restraints and call 911.
Upon arriving at the home, deputies observed the kitchen, hallway closets and bedrooms had been ransacked. In addition to an unspecified amount of currency, the suspects stole an old .38 Special revolver belonging to the victims, according to the report. In the upstairs hallway, deputies noticed several sheets and blankets on the floor, along with several rounds of ammunition thought to belong to the stolen gun.
A bedroom belonging to a daughter who was out of town at the time had also been ransacked during the incident. Several sets of footprints were observed outside the house, leading deputies to ascertain entrance was made through the kitchen door, while the dining room was thought to be the point of exit.
Chu said men were described as black males of indeterminate age, all about about 5 feet 8 in height.
The incident comes weeks after a Dec. 12 home invasion that occurred on the 800 block of Inverness Drive, less than 1 mile away from Flintridge Avenue. In that robbery, three women were tied up by four masked and gloved men, one of whom was in possession of a handgun.
“It sounds like it could be the same guys, so we’re investigating that,” Chu said. “We take this very seriously, and we’re doing everything we can right now.”
The detective added several cities, including Arcadia, have recently reported similar incidents, though whether those may be related to the La Cañada Flintridge robberies is unknown.
Anyone with information on either incident is asked to call the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Station at (818) 248-3464.