HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – A stranger forces his way inside a family's home in the middle of the night. It happened in the 500 block of South 18th Avenue in Hopewell.
Investigators call the crime random. They say the suspect held the family against their will for about 20 minutes. The suspect also told the family he had a gun and he threatened to use it.
23-year-old Jerome Edwards is accused of committing the crimes. He faces a number of charges including burglary, abduction, and robbery.
Police say it was just before 2 a.m. Sunday morning when Edwards forced his way inside the home. There were 3 children and two adults sleeping inside.
Police say Edwards gathered the family in a hallway and told them he had a weapon. Police say Edwards went through the family's personal belongings and ended up taking a purse. A young teen in the home managed to call for help.
When police arrived they say Edwards was running away from the home. He was caught within minutes. Neighbor, Christopher Parker, witnessed the arrest.
"Eight or nine officers had the guy against the truck. It was really early in the morning. I heard the guy screaming, 'I don't have a gun -- I don't have a gun'," said Parker.
Other neighbors are now worried something similar could happen to their family.
"I don't like it; my mom and sister being here by themselves," said Dominque Riddick.
The victims were not physically injured -- they are said to be shaken-up.
Jaclynn Van Gills, another neighbor, says she often speaks to the family.
"They're very quite people. They stay to themselves. The kids are very respectful. It's sad to see that a nice family would have something terrible done to them," said Van Gils.
Edwards is being held at Riverside Regional Jail.