Elderly couple injured in Park Avenue home invasion, robbery
Updated 12:51 pm, Wednesday, September 21, 2011
A group of gun-wielding men dressed entirely in black and Halloween masks covering their faces broke into a home on northern Park Avenue late Tuesday night, injuring the elderly couple who lives there, Fairfield police said.
One of the victims told police that one of the assailants may have fired a shot while running from the house after jewelry and a small amount of cash were stolen.
Police were called to the home about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday after receiving a report of a home invasion from the residents, said Sgt. Suzanne Lussier, a police spokeswoman.
The men, possibly three or four, had already fled on foot when officers arrived on the scene and have not been found, Lussier said.
The husband and wife victims told police they were awakened by their ringing doorbell, followed by glass breaking, Lussier said.
The husband told police he entered the hallway and was confronted by one man, who held him while brandishing a handgun. He said two or three other men ran from room to room, going through belongings. Police said the wife watched the suspects and wasn't able to help her husband until the suspects fled from the home. She then called police, Lussier said.
"As the suspects fled, the husband described what sounded like a single gunshot from the outside," Lussier said.
Lussier said the couple was "frightened and injured" when officers arrived.
At a press conference Wednesday, Police Chief Gary MacNamara said the wife suffered a minor injury to her shin and her husband complained of pain in his wrist.
He said investigators are trying to get a better description of the Halloween masks, but added they were black with a white face or eyes. MacNamara said it's possible that someone in the area might have made note of a car speeding from the scene, with the occupants wearing masks.
"We're pretty confident it was not a random act," MacNamara said. "A home invasion always comes with a great deal of planning, and with a specific reason."
He said because the investigation is continuing, "We can't go into a lot of detail, but we do not believe this was a random act. We do believe there might have been some research and thought on their part.
The last time there was a home invasion in town was about three years ago, MacNamara said, when an elderly couple came home and was confronted by a man who had been hiding in the garage. There also have been several instances of what police call "occupied burglaries" here, he said. The term is used to describe an incident in which a burglar breaks into a house believing there is no one home and surprises the occupants.
"This is different," MacNamara said. "They went in with a clear intent of confronting the homeowners."
How much jewelry or cash was taken had not been determined as of midday Wednesday.
"Having individuals break into your home and execute a strong-arm robbery is the ultimate personal violation that someone can endure, and it is of the utmost concern to the Police Department and the town at large," said police Lt. James Perez.
The investigation is continuing. Lussier said officers and detectives are going over the home to look for any possible evidence.
"We have dedicated an extensive resource into tracking down the individuals responsible for creating this very terrifying experience for two of our community members," Perez said.
Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to call police at 203-254-4840.