Pete Colucci woke from an August morning sleep last summer to his wife saying, “Pete, we’ve got a problem” and two men dressed in black pointing handguns at the couple.
One minute, Colucci, 67, had been asleep in the bedroom of his million-dollar home on a private road in Belle Terre. The next, he said, “You’re waking up with a gun in your face, another with a gun to your wife’s head.”
Colucci talked about the Aug. 11 robbery Monday in an interview with Newsday, not long after Suffolk County police issued a Crime Stoppers release offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest in the home invasion.
“You invade my home, you traumatize my wife. I’m offended by that,” Colucci said. “But, I’m more offended because I’m pretty sure it’s somebody I trusted and probably helped who’s behind this . . . I’m offended and I want to get to the bottom of this.”
Colucci said he’s offering an additional $25,000 on top of the Crime Stoppers reward — plus, he said, another $25,000 if police recover all of the items stolen.
He said the robbery began shortly after his wife Carol, 57, left at around 5:30 a.m. to go to her job as a nurse. She stepped out of their home on Sunset Path in the dark, was grabbed at gunpoint and forced back inside, he said. The gunmen led Colucci’s wife to the bedroom. They then confronted Colluci and told him they knew he had a safe packed with piles of cash.
They wanted the money. Now.
Colucci said one of the suspects said: “I hear you got a million dollars in the house.”
To which Colucci said he responded: “Buddy, you got the wrong information.”
Colucci, who said he flips houses for a living, did have $80,000 and expensive jewelry in two safes — one in the basement, another in a closet. He said Monday that the suspects spent more than an hour in his home during which they also were in communication with someone by phone, who he said directed them around the home.
Another suspect drove one of two getaway cars, Colluci said.
Police said Monday they’re looking for a red four-door sedan and a white two-door Mercedes.
All told, Colucci said, about $400,000 in jewelry and other items were taken, including his Rolex Presidential Platinum Masterpiece watch, which he said cost him $95,000. Additional items include a 3-carat diamond cross, police said.
“At one point,” Colluci said, “one of the guys put a gun to my head and said, ‘You know how this is going to end up, right?’ He said, ‘I’ve got to kill you.’ I told him, ‘Hey, I’m 66. I led a good [expletive] life. Do whatever you got to do.’ ”
Colucci said he “didn’t think they’d do it. I knew just by the fact they knew the layout of my home and didn’t crack me in the head when they didn’t find a million in the safe, so it was probably someone I knew, someone who’d been in my house who’d set it up — and they knew I’d give it up without a struggle. I told the guy, ‘I don’t condemn you for what you do for a living. Take what you want and leave us alone.’ ”
But, he said, “That doesn’t mean I’m not offended that they did this. I am . . . I never bounced a check in my life. I always pay my bills. You either like me or you don’t. That’s how I am . . . But, my wife’s a really good person and this traumatized her. I think that’s unfair.”
Suffolk police are asking anyone with information regarding the robbery to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. All calls will remain confidential.