Deputies: 2 men break into home of sleeping elderly woman

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AVERY COUNTY, N.C. —

 While an elderly woman was sleeping in Avery County, two men broke into her home and cut her phone line.

One of the deputies who worked at the sheriff's office for 18 years told Eyewitness News he's never responded to a home invasion robbery in this rural part of the county.  

The masked gunman surprised the elderly woman who had just gone to sleep.   

Grace Clark showed the door the two men came through before they ran into her bedroom demanding money at gunpoint.

The 80-year-old said both we're wearing ski masks and gloves. They cut her phone line so she couldn't call for help and put a gun to her head. 

"They pushed me down and held their hand over my mouth and put the gun up to the side of my head," Clark said.

Clark said she doesn't know why she was targeted. She had only a twenty dollar bill to give to the robbers.  

Deputies said it is rare for them to even get a call in the Elk Park community known more for Christmas tree growers than big city crime. 

"They said, ‘Don't move and don't talk or we will shoot you,’" Clark said.

Making the robbery even more difficult for Clark is the timing, nearly on the anniversary of her husband’s death nine years ago. He worked as a sheriff’s deputy in Avery County for 35 years. 

Family members just want the people responsible caught. 

"Elderly lady this old, I mean, she was scared. You know this is serious when you come in and do this to an elderly person,” said Victor Horney, Clark’s nephew.

Deputies said they are stepping up patrols in this part of the county and asking anyone with information to give them a call or call their Crimestoppers number.