Merced police investigating home invasion

Merced police are investigating a home invasion robbery reported around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at a residence in the 1000 block of East 20th Street.

The victims, an 84-year-old mother and her 57-year-old daughter, were inside their home when three gunmen rushed inside and demanded money. The robbers entered through an unlocked side door, according to Lt. Andre Matthews.

The suspects, all described as Latino males, had their faces covered with bandanas, wore black clothing and spoke in English and Spanish, according to police.

One of the robbers held the victims at gunpoint and threatened to kill them, while the others ransacked the home. The robbers disconnected all the telephones during the attack. They left the residence with a small amount of cash, jewelry and other personal items.

The victims called 911 after the robbery.

Police said it's unknown why the victims were targeted.

One of the victims, whose name is Anne, spoke to the Sun-Star on Wednesday. Anne asked the Sun-Star not to release her last name, because she and her mother are still traumatized from the robbery.

Anne said the incident was a nightmare come true. During the robbery, Anne said she begged the robbers not to hurt her mother, who has a heart condition. She added it's only "by the grace of God" that her grandchildren weren't inside the home when the robbery happened.

"I want everybody to realize, you see it on television and in the movies. But you don't know how terrible it is until someone has the barrel of a gun pointed at your head, telling you that you're going to die," Anne said.

Anne said she was only able to see the eyes of the robbers. Two of the robbers appeared to be around 18 or 19 years old, while the third robber seemed to be in his 20s. She said one of the robbers was wearing latex gloves.

No vehicle was seen during the incident. Police are asking anyone with information about the robbery to call (209) 385-6905 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Calls are kept confidential, and you can remain anonymous.

Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or vpatton@mercedsun-star.com.