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Masked men storm Durham home, rob family at gunpoint

Posted October 30, 2011
Updated October 31, 2011

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— A Durham mother told her terrifying story Sunday after she says four men forced their way into her home, held her family at gunpoint and stole about $400 cash, a wallet and a cell phone earlier this week.

The nightmare began for Amber Ibarra, her husband, Gregorio Medina, and her four children, aged 11, 8, 5 and 4, around 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Ibarra said that Medina was coming from the store when two men in black hooded sweatshirts and black pants jumped out from behind the family's home on North Guthrie Street and robbed him.

"(They) put a gun to him and told him to give them his money and cell phone," Ibarra said.

Two more men were hiding behind the shed. Three of them were wearing clear plastic masks. All four followed Medina inside the house, Ibarra said.

"They were pushing him up the steps. They made him come up the steps and the open the door," she said.

Durham family robbed at gunpoint Family robbed at gunpoint inside Durham home

The men forced the entire family into the living room and searched the home for valuables.

"He was telling us, 'Give me the money now, give me everything, everything you got.' I told him, I said, 'Please, please don't do this. I got children. We don't have money,'" Ibarra said. "The kids were crying and he put the gun on them and he was like, 'Shut up, shut up, everybody shut up!'"

Ibarra said she and her children were very frightened, but she refused to let the robbers shake her sense of security.

"They're not going to run me out of my neighborhood," she said. "This is my neighborhood. This is my children's neighborhood."

The family has rented the house for 4 years, Ibarra said. Medina has lived there for 7. This wasn't his first brush with crime in the neighborhood. Ibarra said he was shot in the arm during a robbery in the backyard about 4 years ago.

Police said they are looking for suspects in the home invasion. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.


This story is closed for comments.

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  • passport423 Nov 1, 2011

    I wouldn't go on TV and make as brash a statement as she did after having the experiences she and her family have had over the past 4 years. Tantamount to issuing a challenge.

  • jakecdavis1121 Oct 31, 2011

    Its a shame that this happened but the man was robbed and shot b4 time to move. Another thing im licensed to carry concealed they would not have forced me in the house where my family is. No telling what might happen once they get in. If I get hurt atleast I know they would be safe.

  • btneast Oct 31, 2011

    I work off Hwy 70 in Durham, which is East Durham. I have been working in Durham for close to 30 years, and I've been in and around it for a lot longer than that. I travel through this neighborhood frequently on my way to downtown Durham, and I can tell you if I broke down there, even in the daytime, I would be very worried. Maybe not so much if I was on E Main, but the side streets are another story. It is borderline slum....there are some holdout nicer houses, but for the most part, it is really run down with a lot of houses that would likely be condemned, or at least in serious need of a LOT of repair, if an inspector were to go through them. As with any slum in any city anywhere, crime is a problem, and getting residents to open up to the police is very hard.

  • Lamborghini Mercy Oct 31, 2011

    wildcat: Just don't open your door if you don't really know who is on the other side. ->Most burglaries (73%) occur from front door break-ins, which can occur with one swift kick to the door under 2 seconds.
    I would strongly advise all people to purchase a front door frame reinforcement, and place signs in there front yard indicating the home is secured. You can do both these for under $100.00.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    comment. thanks.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    Someone out there knows exactly where the criminals are hiding. They are just as guilty for not report them.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    Praying they catch these criminals and soon. Anyone could be next.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    Just don't open your door if you don't really know who is on the other side. Call the police instead. Opening it at crack is all the criminals need. Don't give them that.

  • fl2nc2ca2md2nc Oct 31, 2011

    "It's time to stiffen the penalties: you carry a gun in a crime, you're up for the death penalty."

    That would that not pass the constitutional test.

  • ElScorcho Oct 31, 2011

    Note to WRAL: It's North Guthrie Avenue, not North Guthrie Street.