NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — They were preying on the kindness of strangers.
Two gunmen and a woman are accused of an appalling crime — holding a family of six at gunpoint in their Harlem home.
And, as CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman reports, police said they used a toddler as a decoy to commit the robbery.
Police are looking for two Latino men, Latinos according to their victims, who are themselves Dominicans. One of the suspects is about 19; the other, between 19 and 23. There’s also a Latina between 23 and 27 years old. And surveillance video shows her carrying a baby, using it for the crime. A family said she rang their doorbell and they could see her with the baby. And so the son, 13, opened the door. But then two men with guns who had been hiding rolled in
“They said ‘we don’t want to do nothing to nobody,’” the son said.
There was no real “money.” It was just the little a hard-working man had — for school uniforms and the rent.
The father said in Spanish one came up behind him and put a gun to his head and saw another one, about to tie up his two children and two nieces. And when he remembers that the proud man puts his head in hands and cried.
The 11-year-old said she tried not to be scared. But then the assailants grabbed her mother.
“They tied me up when they was going to leave,” the girl said.
The mother later said in Spanish, “Imagine, a woman who would use a baby. It’s hard to believe she … this woman … would be a mother.”
Detectives believe the crooks may have gone to the wrong apartment, but robbed the family anyway — taking the rent money, the school uniform money, an iPhone and the daughter’s bracelet.
“I think it’s terrible,” said resident Samuel Kamassa. “It’s very hard to see a woman that has a baby and – then a robbery – it’s not good.”
Residents said since the strange heist, they’ve been on edge.
A sign posted on the building’s door, dated six days before the robbery, let residents know that locks had recently been changed – but that didn’t keep the thieves out. In fact, as CBS 2 uncovered, the door to the building doesn’t even always shut.
“It’s really scary,” said resident Fiona Booth. “With the door, it’s really easy for people to come in.”
The suspects were last seen getting into a BMW after the robbery. Investigators do not know if the child belongs to any of them. They do say they are concerned for the toddler’s safety.
Anyone with information is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. Tips can also be submitted at the Crime Stoppers Website or by texting 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.