Local News

Robbers Terrorize Sampson County Family

Posted February 18, 1999

— What looked like a simple power outage turned into a night of terror in Sampson County. A family remained paralyzed by fear Friday night, and dangerous criminals are still on the loose.

The family remains very frightened and they did not want to be identified, but they did want to tell their story to warn other people.

Francisca, her 5-year-old daughter and her brother-in-law were watching TV Thursday night when all of a sudden the lights went out.

"I open the door and my neighbors had lights, everybody had lights, but not me," Francisca said.

Then the unthinkable happened. Two men carrying guns, dressed in black and wearing masks, burst through the door asking for Francisca's husband and demanding money.

Her husband had just sold a truck. Capt. Landis Lee believes the suspects knew the family.

"Oh I know they did, they called Jose by his first name when they came into the house and wanted to know if he was at home," Lee said.

The suspects then bound and gagged the family.

"He said you better give me the money lady, if you don't I'll kill your daughter, and I'll cut off your fingers and my brother-in-law's as well," Francisca said.

Francisca says the men searched the home, then left with money and jewelry. The men may be gone, but the memory remains.

She says her daughter cried at school Friday morning, and she is still recovering from the traumatic experience.

This was the second home invasion this year in the area, but there have been at least seven in the last four or five months.

Lee does not believe this incident is related to any of the other crimes. There are no suspects at this time.

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