Updated: Home Invasion Victim 'Specifically' Targeted
Bartow County authorities are asking the public for information on a car and the two suspects captured on surveillance video dumping items from the victim's Cartersville home.
Updated 7 p.m.
An incident report released today indicates at least three witnesses saw the 28-year-old victim, who doesn't speak clear English, struggling with a man and woman dressed as police officers outside her home.
Authorities allege the pair stole more than $12,000 in cash and valuables from the victim's Cottage Walk home in Cartersville during a Wednesday armed robbery/home invasion.
With her husband translating, the victim told Bartow County Sheriff's Office deputies the man and woman knocked on her door about 1:15 p.m. and said they had a warrant for her arrest and to search her house.
The victim said she needed to call her husband, 62, and the man pushed her back inside her front door, but she was able to briefly escape him, according to the incident report. Outside her home, the man grabbed her and they wrestled on the ground before he pulled the victim back inside.
She said the man tied her hands together with zip straps, made her sit on the sofa and the duo said, "We are the nice police but there are others coming. If you cooperate with us, you'll be OK, but the other police will kill you."
As the man searched throughout the house, the female suspect pointed a gun at the victim's head, she said. While the man was in the master bedroom, the victim heard a gunshot and her infant started crying. Neither were injured.
A neighbor saw the victim wrestling with the man and woman outside, and thought "the situation seemed suspicious and outside of what he thought was normal for law enforcement to act," but didn't call 911 because he thought the pair were really the police, he said, according to the report.
Two county road department workers also reported seeing the man and woman park at the end of the victim's driveway in a black Lexus sedan with Cobb County plates.
"They said they saw the male knock on the door and show a piece of paper to the female resident when she answered then saw them struggle in the front yard," the report says. "They said they did not intervene because it appeared the female was resisting arrest."
The witnesses and victim said the pair wore radios and gun holsters on their belts, along with hats and shirts that read "POLICE."
The workers heard noise coming from the home and saw the black Lexus IS250 drive past at a high rate of speed. They left the home carrying a black luggage bag from the master bedroom closet, the victim said.
Along with $5,800 in cash, $4,500 in jewelry and more than $2,000 in other valuables were taken or damaged in the incident. A safe, which the husband said was empty, had been pried open and an SUV in the garage was left running. Police also couldn't find the cordless home phone.
Authorities say the two suspects—a man and woman dressed as police officers—tied up the victim and held her at gunpoint as they stole items from her home.
Sheriff Clark Millsap said in a news release investigators recovered property related to the home invasion from a trash can at an Acworth convenience store at Highway 92 at Interstate 75. Authorities believe the surveillance photographs show the suspects dumping the items on Wednesday.
Investigators are hoping for information on the black car captured at the top left in the photos from the Shell Food Mart. They want to hear from anyone who may have seen the vehicle or knows anything about the suspects—an African-American male and Caucasian female.
Information uncovered during the investigation indicates the pair specifically targeted the victim, who was home with her infant during the incident, according to Millsap. The alleged home-invasion robbery is not considered a random incident.
If you have information on the car or suspects, call the Criminal Investigations Division at 770-382-5050, extension 6029.
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