Leads sought in home invasion
January 04, 2010 @ 09:25 PM
HUNTINGTON, WV -- A knock on the door and a request for directions was the strategy for two thieves who invaded a rural Cabell County home early Monday morning.
The Cabell County Sheriff's Office believes the 7:21 a.m. home invasion along Camp Branch Road may be linked to similar incidents. It preceded a similar report Monday about 10 to 15 miles away along Raccoon Creek Road.
Authorities urge residents to report anything suspicious and be wary of unexpected knocks at the door.
"There is no reason they should open the door, unless they know the person," said Cabell County Chief Deputy Doug Ferguson.
Anyone with information about similar incidents, even those in the recent past, should call 304-743-1594.
Ferguson said investigators believe the Camp Branch Road robbery was random. A younger man approached the door, knocked and then forced his way inside past the female resident. He was quickly followed by an older accomplice, also a man.
Ferguson said both men demanded money and prescription medication. Both brandished what appeared to be semi-automatic handguns. They fled with undisclosed property.
A short time later, the Sheriff's Office received a similar report along Raccoon Creek Road. Ferguson said that attempt proved unsuccessful. He was unsure how the assailants were turned away.
The Sheriff's Office had received two to four similar reports prior to Monday. Ferguson said the Camp Branch Road incident marked the second time the assailant had successfully entered his targeted residence.
Sheriff Tom McComas said the prior incidents have occurred in sporadic areas throughout southeastern and southern Cabell County. Investigators have differing vehicle descriptions.
In another case reported to deputies, an 84-year-old woman living in the 4400 block of Rush Hollow Road in Ona reported being robbed. The victim said she answered a knock on her door to find two men outside. One of the men asked for money, but when the woman went to retrieve money from inside, the unknown suspects kicked down the door and entered the residence.
They told the victim if she called 911, they would kill her. The two suspects ransacked the house and stole $200 in cash and a TV.
Stolen items totaled $600. The suspects were described as two white males, in their early 20s with brown jackets and hats. The victim said the suspects fled the residence and got into a vehicle and left. The victim said she did not see any weapons on the suspects.
McComas said the robbery of the 84-year-old woman could be related to the similar home invasions reported on Monday.
McComas said his deputies need the public's assistance. He urges anyone targeted by a similar attempt to contact his office. Many times, such an incident may go unreported because the would-be victim doesn't believe it amounts to much, but McComas explained those details may hold a key piece of information to solve the case.
Crime prevention tips
The Cabell County Sheriff's Office offers the following advice to residents as its deputies investigate two home invasions and other unsuccessful attempts.
KEEP DOORS CLOSED: Never open your door to a stranger. Residents should always look outside before answering the knock and talk through the door to learn a reason for the visit. Offer to call 911 on the visitor's behalf if they need help, but never open the door.
CALL 911: Residents should call 911 immediately, if they notice anything suspicious.
PAST INCIDENTS: Anyone experiencing a past incident similar to those reported Monday should contact the Sheriff's Office at 304-743-1594.