Jim Ferrante, a locksmith with Liberty Lock and Key leaves...

Jim Ferrante, a locksmith with Liberty Lock and Key leaves the Union Avenue home in Eastport where a couple was victimized during a home invasion. (Jan. 8, 2010) Credit: Randee Daddona

The Eastport couple who were bound and robbed by two masked men, one armed with a handgun, in a shocking home invasion returned to their Union Avenue home Saturday and neighbors flocked to offer support.

"All of us are shook up," said Ted Tadsen, of Center Moriches, a friend of the couple. "I was stopping by to see if they needed any help."

Cars lined the street as people visited the two-story home. Only Tadsen offered any comment to a reporter, and the couple did not answer a reporter's knocks on the door.

Friends weren't the only ones stopping by. Jim Ferrante of Liberty Lock & Key of Westhampton Beach was summoned to change the locks, he said.

Ferrante said it's only the second time in 20 years that he has been called to change a lock following a home invasion robbery in the quiet neighborhood.

"That's scary," he said.

Police said the two masked men, who still are at large, pushed their way into the home Friday after the husband, 38, opened his front door. The robbers bound the couple with duct tape and plastic ties, initially holding them in the kitchen, police said.

The wife, 37, was taken to a bedroom and left there, police said. After gathering valuables, the robbers demanded more money at gunpoint, police said, and the husband persuaded them to let him go to a bank.

The husband drove to Chase bank in Center Moriches, where he withdrew an undisclosed sum of money. His demeanor caused an employee to call 911 and when police arrived, he told them of the home invasion.

The wife was found, still bound, in a disabled Volvo station wagon the couple had on their property, police said. The robbers had fled, they said.

Saturday, police were looking for any surveillance video at establishments between the couple's home and the bank, and at the bank itself, on the theory that one of the intruders may have followed the husband to the bank.

If so, one investigator said, the sudden police presence there could explain why the robber and his accomplice fled before the husband returned home.

Surveillance video also could shed light on whether more than two people participated in the crime, the investigator said. In addition, police were looking for witnesses.

With Keith Herbert and Andrew Strickler

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