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Police search for gunmen in Ardsley home invasion

A screen grab of the scene in front

A screen grab of the scene in front of an Ardsley home, where police say residents were terrorized in a home invasion. (April 23, 2012) Photo Credit: News 12 Westchester

Police were searching for clues Tuesday after four or five gunmen wearing hoodies invaded an Ardsley home, terrorized a family and escaped with more than $10,000 cash, authorities said.

The incident occurred around 6 p.m. Monday on Bramblebrook Road and stunned the leafy suburban village.

The gunmen entered the home through a sliding door in the rear, struck the homeowner, who is a contractor, and his 15-year-old son with pistols and forced the father, who had brought home cash receipts from his plumbing and air-conditioning business, to open a safe, Ardsley Police Chief Emil Califano said.

Califano said two of the invaders displayed handguns and forced the father and three children to two upstairs bedrooms. The 8-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were taken to one bedroom and told to hide under the covers of a bed.

The contractor and his teenage son were taken to the master bedroom and ordered to open a safe. When the 15-year-old said he didn't know the combination, he was hit on the head with a gun, Califano said.

The father then opened the safe. Once the robbers collected the money, they bound the hands of the contractor and his son behind their backs and covered their mouths with duct tape.

The father and son were able to break their bonds. The teenager dialed 911 on his mobile phone and the father searched the house.

The father was taken to Dobbs Ferry Hospital, where he was treated for a cut to the side of his head and released, police said. The teenager reported a pain on the back of his head and the 10-year-old girl had a scratch on her neck.

Califano said it appears the attack was not random and that the house had been targeted.

"It seems like they knew they had cash," he said.

Califano said police had no description of a getaway vehicle. One of the home invaders was described as white and the others as black, he said.

Neighbors told News 12 that the family had moved into the house about a year ago.

Ardsley police were assisted by Westchester County Police, Greenburgh Police and Dobbs Ferry Police in the investigation. Police temporarily cordoned off the tree-lined street and used a bloodhound as they searched for evidence, police and neighbors said. By Tuesday morning, they said, the street had been reopened and traffic had returned to normal.

One neighbor on Bramblebrook Road, Joan David, said the incident sent a jolt through a usually serene community.

"It's very disconcerting," she said. "It's usually a very quiet and wonderful neighborhood."

At a coffeehouse, the home invasion was residents' prime topic of conversation, said Andrew Johnson, an employee at the local Starbucks.

"It's hard to believe it happened around here," he said. "They're dumbstruck. They're really scared now."

Ardsley resident Jennifer Gensior told News 12 she was not taking any chances.

"I'm going to put the alarm and keep it on, I guess, even when we're home," she said.

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