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Police: 4 men invade house

COVINGTON - A grandmother was terrified around midnight Sunday when four men wearing ski masks and brandishing weapons forced their way into the home where she was baby-sitting, according to the Covington Police Department.

The woman was at the home with her granddaughter on Pine Needle Drive when the home invasion occurred.

"(The grandmother) stated to me she was watching TV with her granddaughter when she heard knocking at the side door," the CPD incident report states. "When she asked who it was they didn't reply. She would not open the door for the men and they then went around to the front door, knocking violently and ringing the doorbell repeatedly."

The woman told officers she next heard the men trying to get in through the side door and she pushed a sofa in front of it in an effort to prevent them entering.

"The men kicked it in anyway, knocking the sofa out of the way," the report states.

The frightened woman said at least two of the men had masks and guns, but said she did not get a good look at the other two.

"The first male ran up to her ... put a gun in her face and ordered her to close her eyes and not move," the report states. "Before doing so, she saw two males run to the back of the residence and the other two stay(ed) in the living room where she was located, pointing guns at her and the child."

The woman told officers she could hear them ransacking the house and "tearing down doors." She said it wasn't long before the two in back of the house came back up front and all four left, running into the woods toward Greenway Cove and Green Acres Lane.

The woman took the child and ran across the street to a neighbor's house and called 911.

When officers arrived, they found nothing of value to be missing, but did find a small amount of marijuana on a shelf in a bedroom closet, as well as on the floor below the shelf.

Other valuables which are commonly taken during a residential burglary were left untouched.

"This led the officers to believe the robbery may have been drug-related," the report states and CPD spokesman Lt. Wendell Wagstaff confirmed that suspicion.

"Even though they stole dope, this was a home invasion. They scared the woman that was there babysitting. We don't think she had any involvement. Right now we're looking at the homeowner," Wagstaff said. "We're continuing to investigate, and we want to talk to the owner of the house."

EMS was called to the scene to check out the child and the grandmother, but it was found not to be necessary to transport them for medical treatment, according to the report.

Barbara Knowles can be reached at barbara.knowles@newtoncitizen.com.