May 27, 2006|
A man who says he robbed a Los Altos Hills couple this week wants them to know he ``won't be going there any more. They can sleep.''
The man called the Mercury News on Wednesday night, about 24 hours after the first armed robbery in Los Altos Hills in at least four years set off a late-night hunt complete with a helicopter, search dog and roadblock.
Thursday, Santa Clara County sheriff's deputies were still looking for the robber.
When told what the caller said to a Mercury News reporter, sheriff's detective Dean Baker would say only that the man's statements ``may be valid.'' And one of the victims said some of the man's descriptions of what happened during the Tuesday night robbery were accurate -- descriptions that had not been released to the public.
Authorities say a man robbed the couple inside their home on a quiet street off Moody Road. He brandished a gun and was looking for something specific that he didn't find, the victims said, but took about $300 in cash, two wristwatches and some costume jewelry.
The couple later told police their assailant was a white man in his early to mid-20s, 5 feet 10, with a medium build and blue eyes. He was wearing a ski mask, a dark-blue sweatsuit bearing a white crest on one side, and red sneakers with white laces and white eyelets.
Late Wednesday night, a man called the Mercury News and claimed to be the robber. In heavily accented English, the man said he is not ``a killer, not a robber. I just wanted to have fun.'' The gun was fake, he said. ``I just wanted to see how police work over here.''
He said he had watched the police hunt for him from some shrubbery about 15 steps away from where one of the police cars was parked.
The caller would not give his name, but said his nickname was Preved, a Russian word that sounds similar to a casual form of greeting and has recently been used to describe a type of joking wordplay popular enough to create a large Internet community.
During an interview Thursday, one of the victims confirmed the robber ``had a very heavy accent, either Slavic or Middle Eastern. He was very well-educated, very fluent, very comfortable in English.''
Authorities said the man instructed the wife to wrap up her husband in duct tape and then the robber did the same to the woman.
The man told the Mercury News that he asked the couple if they would be able to unwrap themselves from the duct tape he had used to restrain them.
The woman confirmed the suspect said: ``Are you guys going to be OK? Are you going to be able to untie yourselves?' ''
The female victim also said the man ``was not in the slightest way nervous. He seemed very controlled and very calm.''
She said she didn't feel afraid. ``He wasn't wild-eyed and crazy. He just seemed like he was out for a Sunday walk.''
``Then he said, `I didn't hurt either of you, did I?' He made each of us say yes.''
A neighbor said Thursday that the robbery ``was very frightful, of course.''
She said police said the gunman had been looking for two Ferraris, which he didn't find.
Baker said he was making progress with his investigation. He would not confirm the neighbor's information about the Ferraris, nor about any accent the man may have had.
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