Credits: Kimberly Cossairt - Fotolia
TORONTO -- Relatives of a senior marking his 78th birthday in hospital Monday fear brutal home invaders targeted him and his wife for Christmas cash intended for their grandchildren.
The couple was sleeping early Saturday when two men burst into their home around 4:30 a.m., daughter-in-law Nadia Iantorno told QMI Agency, asking that the seniors' names not be published. The intruders demanded cash and jewelry, then forced the couple onto a floor and tied them with clothing, police said.
Before fleeing, one thug pounded the man's face with his fists, Det.-Const. Steve Blenkhorn said.
The couple managed to get help from a neighbour after freeing themselves. Although police said Christmas presents were stolen by the home invaders, she believes most of the loss was in currency.
"Italians use a lot of cash at Christmas," Iantorno said. Iantorno said her 78-year-old father-in-law remains in hospital with facial injuries. His 75-year-old wife, now staying with their daughter, was released after a checkup and treatment for anxiety.
After visiting the senior in hospital earlier in the day, Blenkhorn said he's doing "all right," remaining "mostly for observation." Despite being armed, whoever struck him appears to have used fists, Blenkhorn said.
"He took a few lumps." Police have no firm leads, other than the thugs being described as black, with thin builds, between 5-foot-10 and 6-foot-2. They wore dark clothing.
Blenkhorn said it's possible they were "being watched" and followed home after shopping, then attacked when the house was in darkness.