5 invade home in early a.m.

COVINGTON -- Residents of a Windridge Drive home were startled awake in the early morning hours Thursday by five masked people who had forcibly entered their home to rob them, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

NCSO Spokesman Lt. Mark Mitchell said 911 dispatchers received a call around 4 a.m. from 90 Windridge Drive, off Ga. Highway 36 about 3 miles south of Covington, from three residents stating they had been robbed at gunpoint.

Mitchell said the victims described their attackers as four black men and one black woman, all wearing black hoods and ski masks. They said one of the men was brandishing a firearm.

"One victim began to chase the suspects out of the residence when a round was fired off in his direction," Mitchell said, adding that no one was hit by the bullet and no one was injured in the incident.

The suspects made off with a flat screen TV, a computer and other miscellaneous items, as well as an undetermined amount of cash.

They were last seen fleeing on foot into a wooded area near the residence, Mitchell said. No vehicle was spotted.

"We made an attempt to set up a perimeter and a canine was called in in an effort to track the suspects, but we were unable to get a good track," Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the NCSO is seeking information from the public to help solve this crime.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to call the NCSO at 678-625-1400. Tips can be given to the NCSO anonymously at 678-625-5007 or through their Web at www.newtonsheriffga.org and clicking on "anonymous tips." Those who want a response from NCSO personnel should leave contact information.