Shaken homeowner speaks about Coral Gables robbery

CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida homeowner is speaking out about the crooks who ransacked her Coral Gables house while her 87-year-old mother was just upstairs.

That homeowner is so shaken up Tuesday that she didn’t want to show her face on camera after those robbers broke into her home on June 4, which forced her mother to hide in the house.

“The Coral Gables Police were amazing. They responded — I get very emotional talking about this,” the homeowner said.

She said that the three robbers ransacked the place, but the impact has also been emotional. “The damage to the house was extensive, but that’s all repairable,” she said. “What is not repairable is the psychological trauma that it cost my 87-year-old mother. That will never be repaired.”

Last week, 7News aired the story along with the victim’s home surveillance that showed two men grabbing at anything they could. “The nerve to break into a home in that manner,” the victim said.

The homeowner was out of town for the summer at the time, but her mother was upstairs with her caretaker.

“I can’t begin to tell you what I felt when I received a call from my mother’s cellphone at 3:30 in the morning, just waiting to hear what I was gonna hear on the other end,” the homeowner said. “I imagined the worst.”

According to police, the thieves smashed a window to enter the premises off Old Cutler Road. “She was totally terrified,” the homeowner said, “but she still had a presence of mind to lock herself in the bedroom with her caretaker.”

Police responded to the scene within a minute. They managed to rescue the elderly woman, and after a six-hour manhunt, they caught three suspects identified as 23-year-old Santino Fernandez, 25-year-old Kristopher Soto and 21-year-old Patrick Fernandez.

“We’re very appreciative of what they did,” the homeowner said.

Officials also retrieved the stolen items, including two televisions.

The three men face charges of burglary and theft, while Soto and Fernandez also face a charge of resisting officers without violence.

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