Sleeping Detroit family tied up by home invaders: 'They're traumatized'
May 15, 2012 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
While bound on the floor of his home, with his fiancee and their 11-year-old son restrained beside him, a 30-year-old Detroit father said it was hard not to fight four armed robbers who were ransacking his home early today.
Their take: a few video games and a couple TVs.
"I didn't want to fight back, I got kids," the 30-year-old father said, asking not to be identified for fear of retribution. The top of his right arm was swollen from where one of the robbers hit him with a crowbar, which Detroit police seized for evidence.
Police said no arrests had been made by this afternoon.
The father, his 31-year-old fiancee and their boys -- ages 5, 10 and 11 -- were asleep when thieves broke the wood frame of the steel side door on Manning between 3:30 and 4 a.m.
The thieves ordered the couple to the floor and tied them up, the father said. They tied up the 11-year-old when he awoke to the commotion and came downstairs.
"My brother did the right thing -- they can take anything they want," said the man's sister-in-law, Kimberly Jenkins, 48, who lives a few blocks away.
The thieves took the house keys, the boys' Xbox and PlayStation video gaming systems, 30 or 40 games and the televisions out of the boys' bedrooms.
Jenkins said her nephews are now talking about staying at her house because they are scared to be at home.
"They're traumatized," she said, adding the family never had a problem with anyone. "They've been here five years -- never, ever, ever. No street fights, no neighbor fights, no break-ins, they go to work every day, nobody try to break in their house. That's why I was like, 'Oh my God.'"
Now, the man and woman, both home health care providers who work for the state, must pay $1,500 to have the side door fixed, the front door reinforced and all of the locks replaced. They also plan to install an alarm system.
Neighborhood resident Audrey Byrd, 57, a crossing guard at Fisher Magnet Lower Academy elementary school, said she's been talking to others recently about starting a block club.
"I know them -- they're decent people," she said of the home invasion victims. "This is one reason why I was trying to start up a block club. We don't want this stuff to happen. Things have been happening in this neighborhood."
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAKUP OR Detroit Police Eastern District Investigative Operations at 313-596-5940.
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