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Robbery victim, 90, tried to collect fingerprints from suspects

December 9, 2011 |  8:32 am

The 90-year-old woman ambushed during a home invasion robbery in Rossmoor said she tried to stay calm and collect fingerprints from the suspects.

Two armed men attacked her Wednesday morning when she walked outside to get her newspaper. One shoved a gun into her neck and ordered her into her home, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino said.

Once inside, the robbers tied the woman to a chair and covered her face with a towel.

One of the men watched her with the gun pointed at her while the other ransacked her home, Amormino said.

The robbers took jewelry, including a 150-year-old ring that the woman said was a family heirloom. When they left, she used a Life Alert necklace to call for help.

"I thought it was a big joke, I thought someone was playing a trick on me," the victim, who identified herself only as "Barbara," told KTLA.

But she realized very quickly that the men were serious.

She said she tried to think of how to collect evidence for detectives.

She asked for a drink of water, "thinking that I'd get fingerprints off the glass," Barbara told KTLA.

"But he had gloves on, so I didn't get that," she said.

The widowed mathematician did get a look at one of the suspects, which led to a sketch released by police.

Investigators say someone recognized the parolee and called police.

A picture lineup was conducted and the victim positively identified the suspect, Amormino said.

The name of the suspect has not been released, but officials said he is a parolee from Long Beach.

The second suspect in the robbery is still at large.


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-- KTLA News