WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 01, 2012, 11:21 AM

Masked Men Attack Couple and Kill Dog in Grand Forks Robbery

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Police are releasing information regarding a violent robbery at a north Grand Forks trailer home that happened early Monday morning.

GRAND FORKS (WDAZ-TV) - Police are releasing information regarding a violent robbery at a north Grand Forks trailer home that happened early Monday morning.

Police say at about 5:40 a.m., three masked suspects forced their way into the trailer of Carmen and Sherman Jones at Unit 136 of the Valley Ho Mobile Home Park at 1823 N. Washington St. demanding money and drugs.

The suspects wore dark clothing, gloves and masks over their faces. They also appeared to be armed with blunt objects, according to police. Carmen Jones said one of them had a gun.

Sherman Jones, 39, who was awake with Carmen at the time of the break-in, was beaten to the ground with a club and the couple's pet chihuahua was killed. Jones was treated for head and body injuries and released from Altru Hospital. Carmen Jones was also injured, but did not require hospitalization.

Jones said the intruders made off with two TVs, a safe, jewelry and his wife’s prescription drugs.

Carmen Jones said the men bound the couple with duct tape.

"I had duct tape on my mouth and they did the same to Sherman in the hall. I was in the front room and I watched my puppy die as I was getting bounded up and everything and he just kept on yelling obscenities and they had a gun, and bats, and everything else," Carmen said.

"He put me over the chair that I had in my living room with my hands bound and I didn't know what he was going to do, kill me or sexually abuse me. I didn't know," Carmen said.

Police believe the robbers left on foot, where they fled to a vehicle.

Police are still trying to establish whether there was a relationship between the victims and the robbers but they do not believe it was a random act.

“I don’t think it was a completely random thing,” Grand Forks Police Sgt. B.A. Johnson told the Grand Forks Herald. “For whatever reason, the Joneses were targeted. We’re not sure what that reason is, but we don’t believe it’s a completely random thing.”

Two of the three suspects are about 6' with average builds, possibly in their late 20s with dark hair. The third appeared to be in his mid to late teens, about 5'8", with a slim build and blonde hair.

The Joneses had a surveillance camera in the trailer after having a problem with a break-in at a prior residence outside Grand Forks. The video released late Tuesday afternoon shows the men opening a door to an entryway and kicking in the door to the trailer home.

"In come these three large guys and pretty strong and everything and they started saying that they were going to hurt us and kill us if necessary," Carmen Jones said.

"Kneed in the back of the head, bound, tied-up and I must have passed out because I don't remember any of the rest of it," Sherman Jones said.

Police believe it's not random because of the types of medication Carmen had, but both Carmen and Sherman don't believe they know who did it.

"I just want these people to be caught. They should've never killed my puppy, there was no reason for that," Carmen said.

Carmen says they screamed but they don't think anyone heard them.

"This happened at 5 o'clock in the morning. I'm sure people were awake, somebody has to know something," Carmen said.

Carmen and Sherman Jones say they haven't been able to sleep since early Monday morning. They're worried the three men will come back again but this time do much worse.

If you have information about the robbery, contact the police department at 787-8000. Anonymous information can be reported to Crime Stoppers at 746-1000.