ATWATER — Merced County sheriff's deputies say they're searching for four men who committed a home invasion robbery Thursday morning near Atwater.
The incident was reported at 9:30 a.m. when the four robbers arrived in a white Ford Expedition in the 500 block of Manchester Avenue, according to deputy Tom MacKenzie, sheriff's spokesman.
The men exited the vehicle and confronted the 23-year-old male victim in front of his house. According to victim's statements, one of the men had confronted the victim on an earlier occasion about selling his car, while the suspect had been prison.
Police said the suspect returned with his friends to collect money for the car. One of the men was armed with a long-barreled gun and struck the victim in the back of the head with the butt of the weapon. The victim was told to stay put while the other three ransacked the house and stole several items from the residence, MacKenzie said.
During the incident, the victim's 33-year-old brother arrived and was held at knifepoint, while the other robbers continued to take items from the house. The victim suffered minor injuries from being hit and declined medical attention.
The robbers fled toward the freeway. Deputies said the Expedition had a dent in its rear. The robbers are described as Latino males in their mid- to late-20s.
Deputies are asking anyone with information to call the Merced County Sheriff's Department at (209) 385-7445. Tips are kept confidential and callers can remain anonymous.