MICHAYWÉ -- A Michaywé couple were bound with tape and blindfolded while at least two men ransacked their residence for several hours early Thursday morning and made off with money and property.Gaylord Michigan State Police (MSP) post detective Sgt. Kevin Day is asking anyone with information to contact the Gaylord post at 732-2778.Day said troopers from the Gaylord post were dispatched to a Michaywé residence around 2 a.m. for a report of a breaking and entering. According to reports, after the ordeal, which Day said began shortly before midnight, one of the victims had called 9-1-1 dispatch from a neighbor’s residence to report his home had been broken into while he and his wife were asleep.Once the suspects left the crime scene, Day said the man, who is around 70 years old, was able to chew through the tape which bound him and he made his way to the neighbor’s home.Day said it is believed access to the residence was gained by removing a screen from an open window. Once inside, Day said the suspects, armed with knifes and wearing masks, bound both victims with tape and blindfolded them.
“It happened so quickly they (victims) didn’t even get a good look at their masks,” Day noted. Although the couple were blindfolded, Day said they believed the thieves were in their 20s or early 30s.At one point, Day said, one of the perpetrators told the wife that if she screamed they would kill her. Other than the psychological trauma from the incident and minor injuries from being bound, Day said neither victim sustained serious injury.“This is definitely a stepping up from what you might call a regular breaking and entering,” said the detective. “When you have someone breaking in, knowing that someone is home and then to do what they did, this is much more serious.“They knew (suspects) what they were going to do. It was all planned out in advance to rob these people. The fact they had weapons makes it armed robbery. If we catch them the penalties are going to be much stiffer than if was just home invasion. They had a plan and they carried it out.”Day said this type of crime is almost unheard of in Gaylord and he could recall only two similar incidents from the past 15 years in which a victim or victims had been bound during the commission of a crime.“Fortunately, it is pretty rare but when it happens it is serious,” Day noted. “It is especially traumatic for the victims to go through something like this.”For approximately two hours, Day said the unknown men searched the residence for valuables and stole money and property from the residence.“They were very casual about it,” said Day. “They took their time and didn’t appear to be in any hurry.”After troopers arrived and began their investigation, the MSP canine unit was called to the scene, but investigators say they believe the suspects fled the crime scene in a vehicle.According to Day, investigators may release more details of the crime by the beginning of the week if the crime remains unsolved over the next several days.For now though, he said investigators are cautious about what information is being releasing to the public as it could possibly hamper the investigation.While Day said this type of brazen crime is unusual in the Gaylord area, he advises residents living in the Michaywé area take extra precautions by keeping doors and windows locked, be extra vigilant and contact police if they observe any suspicious activity.“Because we don’t know who these people are or where they are from I would advise residents to take extra safety precautions,” Day said.Contact Michael Jones at 748-4513 or firstname.lastname@example.org