DELAND, Fla. - The sheriff's office is searching for two men they said broke into a home near DeLand after they tricked a couple into thinking they were law enforcement officers.
Investigators told WFTV that the home invaders, who were dressed like SWAT team officers, tied up an 82-year-old man and his 63-year-old wife and robbed them Thursday night.
The home invasion happened on Lake Mamie Road off of U.S. Highway 17. The house is in a wooded area.
Deputies said when the wife opened the door, the armed men came into the house and claimed that they were looking for someone who was on the loose.
The men then proceeded to bind the victims’ hands and feet, and then steal money and jewelry from the couple, including a ring that the husband was wearing and a necklace that was snatched off of the wife’s neck.
In the 911 call, the female victim described what happened.
“They banged on the door real hard and said, ‘Police officers, somebody coming in here,’ because they were looking for somebody,” the woman told the dispatcher.
Neighbors said the neighborhood is usually quiet.
"For something to happen to him is real crazy. He's real quiet, real nice man." said neighbor Shawn Hale. "The neighborhood's really nice around here. Quiet people that treat you respectfully, and for something like this to happen is crazy."
The men then fled the residence. The victims were shaken, but uninjured. The investigation is ongoing.
Deputies are urging the public to be extra cautious until the robbers are caught.
“The wife in this case was pleading for their lives. She told the intruders take whatever you want, but please don’t hurt us,” said Gary Davidson with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Since the home is on a dirt road, it was difficult for deputies to tell which way the robbers took off.
“A house back in the woods that nobody can see and they just decided to try it,” Hale said.
The victims were so shaken up, deputies said the couple was hesitant to open the door when help arrived.