Crime

Gautier police hit dead end in home invasion probe

Gautier police have hit a dead end in their investigation into a December home invasion because the victims are not cooperating with authorities, police Lt. Danny Patrick said.

“You don’t just wander into a house in south Gautier,” Patrick said Tuesday. “This was not a random event. I believe they were targeted. The questions we have the victims can’t answer or refuse to answer. The investigator tried to get ahold of them and they won’t come in and cooperate.”

Police, however, are still looking into the Dec. 14 attack that led to the shooting of the family’s pit bull that was trying to protect its owner.

So far, Patrick said, they are working on initial allegations the attack started when a female resident headed out for work about 5 a.m. at her home on Soundview Drive.

The woman told police she was about to get into her car when three masked men jumped her from behind and wrapped a bandanna around her face to blindfold her.

She told police she struggled with her attackers to try to get into her car and leave, but the men pulled her from the car, stole her keys and forced her back into the home.

She told police the men duct-taped her hands so she couldn’t fight them.

When they got back into the house, police said, the family’s pit bull heard the commotion and ran down the stairs.

The men shot the dog just as the woman’s boyfriend and teenage son woke up to come to see what was happening. The intruders ran after the shooting.

The dog was shot in the face, but the dog has recovered, Patrick said.

Police believe the men possibly knew the home’s occupants.

Patrick said if investigators continue to receive no new leads and have no cooperation in the investigation, the case could become inactive.

He doesn’t want to see that happen.

“We need cooperation,” he said.

To report information, call the Gautier Police Department at 228-497-2486 or call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 1-877-787-5898. Rewards of up to $1,000 are offered for information leading to an arrest.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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