Tacoma couple held hostage while suspects ransack home

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on May 11, 2012 at 6:20 AM

Updated Friday, May 11 at 12:38 PM

Tacoma Police are looking for the robbers who broke into a couple's house Thursday evening and held them hostage while ransacking their home.

The attack happened at the couple's home near the intersection of South 74th Street and South Ainsworth in Tacoma.

Remegio and Norma Fernandez said they were watching TV when at around 7:00 p.m. when they heard their back door window shatter and saw two armed men.

"I was really in shock because there was a gun pointing at me with a laser," said Remegio. "I couldn't move."

The couple said they were held hostage and threatened for three hours while two the suspects robbed their home, threatening to shoot them the whole time. Remegio said they even put a gun in his mouth, and then his wife's mouth.

"They said, 'We want your money, we want your jewelry,'" he recalled.

At one point, Remegio said he was able to break free and run away. But one of the suspects chased him down, kicked him and assaulted him, and dragged him back inside. He said the suspect told him he would shoot him if he didn't cooperate.

"I just had to cooperate because I don't want to leave my wife," he said.

"I [was] trembling," said Norma.

Throughout the attack, police said the suspects were apparently talking to a female in a car via a two-way radio.

When they left, officers said the suspects had two large duffel bags of stolen items. The thieves also stolen $4,000 from the couple's daughter, Caroline, who was saving it for a trip to the Philippines.

Neighbors said they didn't notice anything suspicious last night.

"I got home around 8:30 and didn't see or hear anything out of the ordinary," said a woman who lives nearby. "It's an older community here, so if it can happen to them, who else can it happen to?"

When police arrived, a K-9 unit searched for the suspects, but they were unable to locate them.

Neighbors described Remegio and Norma as very kind people who have lived in the neighborhood for several years. The couple said even they don't know why they were targeted.

"I don't have [any] enemies, we help other people," said Remegio.

Tacoma Police described the suspects as two males in their late teens or early 20s, one tall and slender, the other described as short and average. The men were wearing blue bandannas and were armed with a handgun.


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