BELLE TERRE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Some Long Island grandparents were still in a state of shock Tuesday, as police uncovered new evidence that could help find the suspects who tied them up at gunpoint and robbed them in their own home last summer.
CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan spoke with one of the victims Tuesday.
“I always make sure she gets out safe, then I fall into a deep sleep,” said Peter Colucci.
It was 5:30 a.m. back on Aug. 11. Colucci’s wife, off to her job as a pediatric nurse, was accosted in the driveway of their Belle Terre estate and forced back inside at gunpoint.
“All of a sudden, she’s at the foot of my bed – and she says: ‘Pete, wake up! We have a problem!’ And I looked up, and I see a guy in all black – complete, all black. All you saw was his eyes. Had her around the waist with a gun to her head; said: ‘Wake up! This is a hit!’” Colucci said. “I actually thought I was on a movie set. I thought I was dreaming.”
Colucci was ordered to roll over. He was zip-tied along with his wife, as a second masked gunman appeared.
“The guy says so me, ‘I hear you have a million dollars in the house,’” Colucci said. “I said, ‘Listen, buddy, you got the wrong information.’”
Colucci buys and sells homes, and keeps cash and jewelry at home. He and police think the suspects knew that, as they demanded, “Where is the safe?’”
“And he puts the gun to my head – he was the guy who was more of a thug,” Colucci said. “The other guy wasn’t — his demeanor was altogether different. He was like scared; he was shaking.”
Colucci credits his wife for remaining calm. It bought them time.
“So they’re searching on my nightstand and on my wife’s dresser, and they found my Rolex there; my tag watches; some of her jewelry – and they were loading their pockets up with the stuff,” Colucci said.
Eventually, the suspects found the safe and became enraged that they couldn’t open it.
“It’s a push-button safe, and I think after I think after three or four tries, you lock yourself out of it,” Colucci said. “I said, ‘You’ve got to take the whole safe.’ You know, I just wanted them out of here.”
The perpetrators then separated the couple – Colucci’s wife stayed upstairs while he himself was taken down.
“He goes, ‘You know how this is going to end?’ He said, so he said. ‘I got to kill you,’” Colucci said. “I said, ‘Listen, you make your living the way you do. I said: ‘Take what you want and leave us alone. I’m 66 years old. I led a good life. You want to kill me? Kill me,’ I said. ‘Leave my wife alone.”
The gunman may have been swayed as he ran back up the stairs.
“I heard the safe bouncing down the staircase. When I heard, ‘Boom, boom, boom,’ I said, ‘They’re taking the safe,’” Colucci said.
He heard a car start. Police released a surveillance photo of a maroon vehicle.
And then Colucci heard his wife’s voice – she was alive.
But their home was ransacked — everything sentimental gone. Police said $400,000 worth of items were taken.
But the grandparents of 10 lived through the harrowing crime.
The Coluccis are singing the praises of Suffolk County police detectives, who remain dedicated to solving the cold case and may indeed be close.
But police are eager for additional tips from the public. The Coluccis are also offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to arrests and recovery of their valuables.