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Authorities asking for public's help locating suspects in Columbia Heights home invasion

June 11, 2019 10:10 PM

Authorities are asking for the public's help in locating suspects in a home invasion in Columbia Heights.

The Anoka County Sheriff's Office said Columbia Heights police responded to the 4500 block of Madison Street NE at about 12:17 a.m. last Wednesday on the report of a home invasion that had just occurred. The Sheriff's Office said four or five suspects forced entry into a home.

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According to the sheriff's office, the 87-year-old homeowner and his 89-year-old wife were awakened by a man armed with a semi-automatic pistol. The homeowner's 58-year-old son, who was also in the home, was forced from his bedroom to another area in the home as the suspects demanded money.

“It certainly seems like this was more of a planned attack, a targeted attack, however these people were likely not the intended target of this crime of violence,” said Lt. Dan Douglas, with the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects fled from the home, taking a television, cellphone and wallet, the sheriff's office said.

“Based on my experience, this is usually a case of the wrong house,” said Lt. Douglas. “It's a concern to the community, it's a concern to law enforcement that attacks like this can happen so randomly and so suddenly.”

When police arrived, the homeowner had been struck in the head with a pistol and required medical attention.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS spoke to the couple off-camera on Tuesday. The 87-year-old man still has a bandage on his head.

His wife is shaken up and said the attack happened quickly, in less than 10 minutes. She told us she was focused on taking care of her husband, who was bleeding, that night.

She said she adamantly told the criminals that they didn’t have the money they were looking for.

Neighbors are on edge.

“It’s a sad, sad crime,” said Thomasina Plemmons, who lives around the corner. “It’s devastating.”

A MnDOT camera captured video of a vehicle leaving the area at a high rate of speed shortly after the 911 call, authorities said.

Anyone with information that could help authorities is asked to call the Columbia Heights Police Department at 763-706-8100, or the Anoka County Sheriff's Office at 763-427-1212.

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