LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) -- Two residents were injured Tuesday evening when armed suspects took advantage of an open garage door to gain entry into a Lafayette home, assaulting the homeowner and ransacking the residence before fleeing.
The Contra Costa Sheriff's Department said the armed suspects entered the home in the 1100 block of Crestmont Drive around 7:30 p.m. through the garage and then terrorized the residents.
Investigators said the male homeowner was assaulted and he and another resident were bound with restrains. The suspects then ransacked the home, stealing valuables and personal items.
When the suspects fled, they left both residents still restrained. It took the residents several hours before they were able to get free and call 911. Both victims suffered minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital.
No one on Crestmont noticed anything was wrong until police arrived Tuesday night.
"Really friendly people," Greg Wilson says of the couple that was attacked. "The neighbors all know each other, so it's really upsetting that something like this would happen."
"Fear, of course." added neighbor Manoj Tripathi. "There is that initial reaction."
"And from what I understand, they were obviously home," Wilson says of the robberies. "So it's upsetting that someone would break into a home, knowing someone is home. That's really, really upsetting."
Lafayette Police Investigations and the Sheriff's Office Crime Lab responded and the investigation was ongoing.
Neighbors say police have asked them if they have any video cameras that might have captured anything. Those who spoke to KPIX said they do not. Everyone in the neighborhood did express unease about these two similar, unsolved crimes.
The robbery and assault come on the heels of a Halloween night home invasion in the 1300 block of Martino Road, about 3 miles from Tuesday's incident.
During the Halloween robbery, two people were injured by three suspects armed with a pistol. The victims in that incident were tied up after answering a knock on their door at about 8:30 p.m.
The suspects spent about an hour robbing the home before fleeing in the victims' BMW, which was later found abandoned in Oakland.
The police response to that incident was blamed for a delay in the response to noise complaints about a Halloween party that ended in gunfire in neighboring Orinda, where five people were killed.
Police have not detained any suspects in either robbery.
On Wednesday afternoon, the sheriff's department announced it was increasing patrols in both Orinda and Lafayette. The deputies will augment the Lafayette and Orinda Police Departments' regular patrols and will remain in those cities until further notice.
The deputies will work both daytime and nighttime hours in fully marked patrol vehicles. Additional other security measures have also been stepped up and are ongoing.
"Anytime we see a rise in criminal activity, especially violent crime, we react immediately," said Sheriff David Livingston. "The citizens of Orinda and Lafayette should know we are out in force - some measures will be highly visible like our additional patrol deputies and other measures will be more covert. Our goal remains unchanged, to keep Contra Costa families safe."
The Sheriff's Office provides law enforcement and public safety services to both Orinda and Lafayette through contracts.
Anyone with any information on this case was asked to contact the Lafayette Police Department at (925) 283-3680 or (925) 299-3234. For any tips, email: 94549TIP@gmail.com or call (866) 846-3592 to leave an anonymous voice message.
KPIX 5's Wilson Walker contributed to this report.
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