Holiday couple broke but relieved after robbery

HOLIDAY — It was 2:45 Thursday morning, and Amy Schmidt's infant son wouldn't go to sleep.

Schmidt, 30, was preoccupied with 4-month-old Carlos while her boyfriend, 24-year-old Juan Salcedo, slept. Neither heard two people slip into the dining room of the house on Wilson Drive in Aloha Gardens through a unlocked sliding door.

A Pasco County Sheriff's Office report gives the following account:

A man in a black ski mask peeked into the bedroom of Schmidt's three other children, ages 5, 9 and 12. Schmidt said he showed the children his handgun and motioned for them to stay silent.

Then he burst into the other bedroom. The man pointed a gun at Salcedo and told him to get out of bed and on the floor.

A woman wearing a pink tank top and dark shorts came in with a roll of duct tape. She wrapped tape around Salcedo's hands and placed a strip over his mouth.

Schmidt was forced to lie on the opposite side of the bed with her hands taped together. Four-month-old Carlos watched from his crib without a whimper.

The man found Salcedo's wallet and took the money from his paycheck as a cabinet maker — money that Schmidt said would have paid for groceries and rent. Using keys from the night stand, the burglars opened a safe inside the closet but found nothing inside.

The man and the woman left the room and headed toward the sliding door in the back of the house. On their way out, they grabbed Salcedo's Hewlett-Packard laptop, valued at $1,000. They took a small box of rare coins Schmidt had been collecting for her children, and an MP3 music player. Then they fled west on Wilson Drive.

"We don't even have grocery money right now … but that stuff doesn't really matter to me," Schmidt said. "I'm just grateful that we're alive and they didn't hurt anyone."

Nomaan Merchant can be reached at nmerchant@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6244.

Investigators described the suspects in the Aloha Gardens robbery as a man in his early 20s dressed in all black and an 18- to 20-year-old woman with a pierced lip and wearing a pink tank top and dark short shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff's office at (800) 854-2862.

>>Fast facts

Did you see the robbers?

Investigators described the robbers in the Aloha Gardens case as a man in his early 20s dressed in all black and an 18- to 20-year-old woman with a pierced lip and wearing a pink tank top and dark short shorts. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at (800) 854-2862.

Holiday couple broke but relieved after robbery 06/27/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 30, 2008 1:21pm]

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