Christmas reunion turns into nightmare

By Morgan Chesky - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Thursday night, police are still searching for three men responsible for robbing a Tyler apartment at gunpoint. It happened just after 7pm Wednesday evening at the Timbers Apartment Complex on south Broadway in Tyler.

"We were just hanging out and these guys come in there and just rob us," said Christopher Harrington.

It was supposed to be a reunion - three friends catching up over Christmas - a visit cut short with a knock on their front door.

"It was supposed to be our neighbors girlfriend who knocked on the door," said 20-year-old Chris Robinson. Before he could check the blinds to make sure, the door opened and it was too late.

"He (Chris's roommate) opened the door it was too late, shotguns get down get down," Robinson said.

Three hooded men pushed their way inside, taking over the apartment.

"They were duct taping everyone when I came in," said Seth Padgett.

Padgett was upstairs when he heard commotion, when he came downstairs, he was in it.

"He hit me with the shotgun to the back of the head," explained Padgett, "the other guy kicked me in the face as I was going down to the ground."

"I'm thinking this is like some horror movie stuff because they all line us up in a circle then they hit Seth," said Harrington.

While one held them at gunpoint, the others went to work.

"They took all the electronics we had. They pretty much ransacked and looted the whole house," Harrington said.

Apartment management refused to comment and forced us to leave, but these pictures taken by the owners show the little left behind, an entertainment center minus a TV, a desk missing several computers.

"It's really scary, you know it can happen twice, you know it can happen to anybody, but it happened to us twice," added Harrington.

"We don't think this is just a random occurrence happening a second time," said Tyler Police Officer Don Martin.

Authorities say the apartments are not more prone to break-ins, but the coincidence is hard to accept.

"I don't think they're knocking on just a random door and just picked that particular apartment so we're still looking for that connection why they would have picked that apartment," said Martin.

And if their apartment is picked again.

"We're still gonna hang out but i'm gonna have my gun next time," said Harrington.

Tyler police say eye witnesses did see three men wearing black hoodies, using ski masks and bandannas to cover their faces near the apartment last night.

No one has been taken into custody. Police ask if you have any tips to call CrimeStoppers or Tyler Police.

©2009 KLTV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.