Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 21, 2014

Sheriff looking for home invasion suspects

Somerset — Authorities are searching for suspects connected to a home invasion early Tuesday in northern Pulaski County.

Shortly after midnight, at 12:24 a.m., the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department responded to a report of a robbery at 263 Valley Road, north of Somerset.

As it turned out, learned investigators, a total of three suspects had allegedly forced entry into two homes at that address.

According to the sheriff’s department, around midnight, a lone male suspect approached the residence of Laurie Brown, 60, who lives in a mobile home behind the residence. He acted as though he simply wanted to inform her that cattle were loose on the property.

Brown was aware that the property owner had cattle and told the suspect to go to the main house on Valley Road to speak to the owner.

The suspect then forced his way into the residence and tied up Brown with duct tape and also taped her to the bedpost. The intruder then took the battery out of her cell phone and left the residence without taking any property.

After about 30 minutes, Brown was able to free herself and ran to the main residence, which was occupied by Rob There, 64, his sister Donna Hall, 70, and his wife, who is bedfast.

When Brown walked into the home, she found Hall and Mr. Thayer both bound by duct tape inside the home. Mrs. Thayer was not bothered during the robbery, according to the sheriff’s department.

Investigators determined that three masked suspects had entered the home armed with a handgun and baseball bat. One of the suspects struck Mr. Thayer with the bat before he was subdued and bound with the tape.

Mr. Thayer received only minor injuries and was not taken to the hospital. Nobody else was injured in the incident.

According to Det. Brett Whitaker of the sheriff’s department, a motivation beyond simple robbery is not known at this time. None of the suspects were recognized by the victims, so the sheriff’s department is unable to say as of yet if these individuals were specifically targeted or they were hit at random.

“It’s the first home invasion we’ve had in some time, so it’s pretty abnormal,” said Whitaker. When asked if he expected this to be an isolated incident or part of multiple invasions in the area, he noted that they’re “so abnormal, we’d like to think that none of them would occur” going forward.

The suspects took items from the home including firearms, prescription medications, and cash.

Whitaker advised individuals to “know who you’re opening to door for” before doing so, and to look through the peephole if possible or make sure it’s someone you recognize before allowing someone entry at your doorway.

The descriptions of the suspects are vague. The victims described them as wearing facemasks and camouflage clothing. They were reportedly driving a dark-colored small pick-up truck.

Anyone with information as to the identity of these suspects is asked to contact the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department at 606-678-5145. Those with information may also leave a tip on the sheriff’s department website, www.pulaskisheriff.com.

The investigation is continuing by the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division.

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