Man injured in Northwest Fresno home invasion robbery

FRESNO, Calif.

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The robbers struck in the middle of the night and pistol-whipped one of the residents. The neighborhood near Audubon Dr. and Highway 41 has been hit with a series of burglaries in the last few months, but this is the first one to turn violent.

The three masked men came after midnight and kicked down the door to get inside. Investigators believe the men had a plan, but what they found inside the home may have surprised them.

A U-Haul may be the best clue police have to lead them to the three men who broke into the home and attacked the homeowner. Police say the suspects arrived at the home in the stolen rental truck, then abandoned it a few blocks away with the motor still running.

One neighbor who didn't want to talk on camera says he came home just after the U-Haul left.

"The neighbor had run out of the house screaming frantically and so immediately I knew something was wrong," said Patrick Miller.

Miller called 911 and then tried to help the male resident. One of the robbers had pistol-whipped the 68-year-old and he was bleeding from the head.

"I saw the husband walking out of the house dazed, ran over to him, got a towel on his head to put pressure on his wound," Miller said.

An ambulance took the man to St. Agnes hospital while police followed the trial of the U-Haul, hoping to find something to identify the masked men.

The victims say the robbers cut the wiring to surveillance cameras at the home before they came inside. And they had also been the targets of an apparent failed burglary just a week ago.

Police believe the crooks had done their homework on the house, but may have thought it was empty because the victims had recently been away from home.

"Usually the people that commit this type of act have some kind of intelligence or premeditation on why it is they select a specific residence," said Fresno police Lt. Anthony Martinez.

Action News talked to the female victim on the phone and she told us everybody's okay now physically, but she was still a little shaken up.

The victims also own a jewelry business that may have made them a target.

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