CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. - Deputies and state agents are investigating a violent home invasion that happened early Thursday in Chesterfield County.
According to officials with the Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Office, the incident happened around 4 a.m. on JL Love Road near Jefferson.
Officials said the man who owns the home was leaving for work in Charlotte when two men in ski masks and wearing latex gloves jumped out from behind bushes in front of the home. One of the masked men held him at gunpoint, officials said.
After a scuffle, the two men took the homeowner to a detached garage roughly 75 yards from the house, handcuffed him to a chair and pistol-whipped him, authorities said.
Officials said the homeowner is a federally licensed gun dealer and that the robbers loaded up trash bags with brand-new pistols before they noticed the man’s safe and forced him to open it.
"They knew that he had plenty of weapons because they kept saying, 'Take us to your guns,’" Sheriff Jay Brooks said.
The robbers left with a large amount of cash and left the guns behind, authorities said.
"When they saw the cash, that just seemed better than the guns, and they just scooped it up and ran out, ran down the stairs," Brooks said.
Channel 9 was told that the homeowner’s wife and child were in the home sleeping during the incident and didn’t hear the attack because of the distance from the garage.
The homeowner managed to get free and call 911 after the two men left, officials said.
Family members told Channel 9 that the man dialed his wife's cellphone number with his toes while he was tied up, waking her up inside the house.
The victim’s mother-in-law, Tammy Withrow, said he’s doing OK, but he’s a bit rattled by the incident.
"He's doing good, but he's very shook up, and so is his wife and their little 4-year-old," Withrow said.
Sheriff’s deputies and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents went to the residence and are currently investigating the home invasion.
Investigators said there are no suspects at this time, but that it’s likely the robbers knew the victim’s routine and had been watching the house.
Channel 9 has been told that the victim heard someone say, “Come get me,” leading authorities to believe the intruders had a car waiting for them outside.
Deputies said there's no description of the intruders’ car, but they are checking surveillance cameras at businesses in Jefferson to see if they might have caught something.
Withrow said she’s still frightened for her son-in-law.
"My nerves are pretty much tore up about it, because like I said, you don't expect to get that kind of call first thing in the morning, especially how they handcuffed him and stuff like that," Withrow said.
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