Newton Township couple tied up as suspects steal jewelry, electronics and car

A Newton Township couple awoke in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday to find strangers in their bedroom. (WWMT/MGN Online)

A Newton Township couple awoke in the wee hours of the morning Tuesday to find strangers in their bedroom.

At least one of those strangers was holding a gun – and the intruders immediately began barking at the couple to remain quiet and follow orders.

A little less than an hour later, the strangers had disappeared in the couple’s car – taking with them thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and electronics.

The couple, both 84, and their 13-year-old great-granddaughter, were left behind – tied up but uninjured.

Shortly after the assailants left, the great-granddaughter escaped her bindings and ran across the street to another relative’s home to call 911.

"This was a very scary situation for these people," said Calhoun County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Steve Hinkley. "They’re actually in their bedroom, they’re sleeping, and all of a sudden they wake up to an individual with a handgun standing over their bed."

Now, Calhoun County sheriff’s deputies are looking for the three people who invaded their home on Division Drive.

The incident started about 3:30 a.m., Hinkley said. The suspects had walked into the couple’s bedroom, turned on the lights and, holding a weapon in full view, started barking orders at the couple.

The suspects include at least two men; the gender of the third suspect is unknown. One of the three is a male about 5-foot-10-inches tall with a stocky build. He was wearing a ball cap underneath a white hoodie pulled tight around his head, detectives said. He also was wearing green-and-brown-camo cargo pants.

A second suspect is also about 5-foot-10 but with a skinny build. He was wearing a black hoodie, also pulled tight around his face.

Investigators have been unable to get much of a description of the third suspect.

The car the three took from couple was recovered by investigators a short time later, abandoned on Beadle Lake Road about two miles from the house, in Emmett Township.

Deputies said neighbors had been reporting suspicious activity in the area, as well as a number of stolen items taken throughout the week. Investigators are encouraging neighbors to continue to call with any and all reports of suspicious activity.

"We received information from other neighbors in the area that there may have been additional suspicious things that are occurring through the neighborhood in the last couple of weeks, and we really need to know about that information," Hinkley said.

Deputies said it is unclear if the incident is related to a series of home break-ins in Battle Creek over the past week, but they will be reviewing the case with the Battle Creek Police Department.

"We will be sharing and comparing information on a lot of the burglaries and especially what occurred in this incident to see if it’s related to anything else," Hinkley said.

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to call Calhoun County detectives at 269-781-0880.

Calhoun County was assisted in the investigation by the Emmett Township Department of Public Safety and the Michigan State Police.

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