Armed robbers ambush Highland Park man at home, get away

A Highland Park homeowner sitting on his back patio recently came face-to-face with a revolver and robber demanding cash.

When the homeowner didn't have any cash, he drove the thief to an ATM.

The homeowner, who did not want to show his face to FOX 4, was watching TV on his back patio when he got an unexpected visit at 1:30 a.m. Monday.

"I was standing there with my back to the fence and I heard a light, ‘Hey,' and I was startled," said the homeowner. "And as I turned around, I saw a black man pointing a revolver at my head…he said he needed money, wanted cash and he knew I had some."

When the homeowner told him he didn't have any, the suspect didn't back down.

"We walked inside, he looked around," said the homeowner. "I said, ‘Here's my wallet, there's no cash.' He looked down, he looked around on my table, saw a watch, grabbed a watch, put it in his pocket. ‘That's a $20,000 watch, why don't you just take that?'"

Still not enough, the homeowner offered to drive the armed robber to the nearest ATM.

So the two got into the homeowner's Range Rover and went to an Amegy Bank several blocks away, where he withdrew $500 in cash before returning to the house on Cornell Avenue.

"I was trying to reason with him," said the homeowner. "I asked, ‘Why would you want to shoot me? I've never done anything to you.' I said, 'I get it man, we've all been down on our luck. If I can help you out, I will.' He kept saying, 'Don't make me commit murder.' I said, 'Why would you want to kill me? What have I ever done to you? You can take anything you want.'"

What the homeowner didn't know was that a second suspect was upstairs rifling through his closet, planning to steal his collectible jerseys and Air Jordans, watches, cologne and even his underwear.

In a moment alone, the homeowner, who luckily had his cell phone in his pocket, was able to quietly call 911 and hide in a closet.

Highland Park police arrived minutes later and then ran after the suspects. Officers lost the pair, who fled in a 2001 green Mitsubishi Montero SUV.

"This offense is highly unusual in Highland Park," said Sgt. Lance Koppa with the Highland Park Police Department. "Typically, you see property offenses where you have a theft maybe a burglary of a construction site, but rarely do you have a person's offense, so it takes our highest priority because we want to get these guys apprehended and off the street."

In total, the homeowner says the suspects got away with $500 in cash, his credit cards and $75,000 in watches.

"To rob a man in his own house is the most cowardly act a person can do," said the homeowner.

The suspects could face aggravated robbery and evading arrest charges, and possibly kidnapping.

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