An 81-year-old woman said she's lucky to be alive after a home invasion robbery at her North Merced home late Sunday.
Merced police are searching for two men responsible for robbing Judy Lang about 11:45 p.m. at her home in the 3400 block of Cascade Creek Avenue, south of East Yosemite Avenue and west of McKee Road.
The longtime Mercedian, who recounted the incident Monday, said she had dozed off on the sofa. She had left her back sliding glass door unlocked.
The two robbers entered through the unlocked door, and she was awakened after one of them put his hand on the back of her head. She saw that the first robber was wearing a ski mask. "I want your jewelry," he commanded.
She said the other robber, who was not wearing a ski mask, then approached. "Don't look at me, or I'll have to shoot you," he growled, tapping the back of her head with a gun.
Lang handed over her wedding and engagement rings. She was forced to hand over a necklace she was wearing.
The robbers then asked for money, and she replied that she didn't have any. The robbers continued their demands, and she walked them to her car, which was parked in the garage. She said she retrieved her purse from inside the car and they snatched it.
The robbers fled through the back sliding glass door, leaving the property through the backyard gate. Lang then called police.
Lang, who's lived in Merced since 1955, said she's thankful to have come through the incident without any injuries. But she's saddened by the loss of her personal items, which had great sentimental value. Her husband, John Lang, is deceased.
The robbers also took Lang's wallet and personal identification.
Lang said she was able to remain calm during the ordeal, believing it lasted about five minutes. "It really happened so quickly," she said. "I was more frightened afterward."
Lang said she was unable to get a good look at the robbers, but that they appeared to be between 20 and 30 years old. She told police they were wearing all black clothing, and described the weapon as a possibly a semi-automatic handgun.
Lt. Bimley West, Merced police spokesman, said police need help from the public to solve the case. He called the incident particularly concerning because the suspects robbed a vulnerable senior citizen. "Right now our information is rather limited," West acknowledged.
Detectives ask anyone with information to call Sgt. Scott Skinner at (209) 385-4702, (209) 385-4702, or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Information can be sent via anonymous text message by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the text message.
City Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or email@example.com.