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Cops: Owner was tied up in home invasion

NEWS 12 WESTCHESTER: Fire destroys barn on estate two days after a violent home invasion at the same house. (May 7, 2012)

A lone, black-clad gunman tied up the owner of a Bedford Hills estate in the garage before entering the home and falling into a scuffle with his wife, police said Monday as officials shed details on the frightening home invasion that occurred during the weekend.

"This is an active police investigation, and the department continues to seek leads and evidence to identify the offender in the case," Town of Bedford Police Chief William Hayes said at an afternoon news conference.

According to Hayes, the husband, Leonardo Lebrun, was smoking a cigarette outside the garage when the assailant emerged from a wooded area and approached at about 9:40 p.m. Saturday. After the gunman tied him up and took his wallet, which contained an unknown amount of cash, the suspect went inside the house.

He then struggled with the wife, Lara Lebrun, Hayes said. Police initially believed the robber's gun discharged in the scuffle but later found no evidence of that. Lara Lebrun suffered scrapes to the abdomen, the only injury incurred in the robbery.

A panic alarm was triggered in the home's security system and the wife, who was with one of their three children, aged 11, 8 and 4, in an upstairs bedroom, dialed 911, authorities said. The other children were elsewhere in the house.

Bedford police, assisted by State Police and other agencies, sought to cordon off the area and searched the perimeter with a helicopter and dogs, but were unable to find the gunman. Police said it was unclear whether the gunman used a vehicle to flee.

The family was allowed back into the house, located at 135 Broad Brooke Rd., after it was determined that the robber had eluded capture, police said. A housekeeper was also present at the home at the time of the incident.

Police also said Monday that there is no evidence to connect a fire in a horse barn early Monday morning to the home invasion. The fire, which was reported at 4:27 a.m., destroyed the barn and likely killed some chickens that nested there.

Police said they were still seeking a cause for the fire. They do not believe the house was targeted by the original assailant.

Family members called at the address declined to comment.

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