7 men ambush, rob 2 SW Miami-Dade homes at gunpoint

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Seven armed men ambushed and robbed a Southwest Miami-Dade man’s home, as well as the home of his parents next door, and police believe the assailants may have targeted the wrong houses.

According to police, seven men took Dennis Varela’s family hostage at the home of his parents, located along Southwest 206th Terrace, near 118th Avenue, before walking a few houses down to rob his own house, at around 2 a.m., Wednesday.

Varela, a father of three, told police his family was completely outnumbered when the armed men barged into his parent’s house, terrifying his three young children.

Varela said the perpetrators walked his younger brother to his residence and used him as bait to gain entry. “They got my parents hostage,” said Varela. “First, they put everybody in the room, and then, they brought my little brother with a gun to his head to my house. That’s when I opened the door and they rushed in.”

The homeowner said the armed intruders forced his wife and children into a bathroom inside their home and then pistol-whipped him. “I have two bumps on my head because they hit me with a gun twice,” he said.

Varela said the subjects grew violent as they ransacked the home and took money, jewelry and personal items. “My brother got a crack in the head, my dad a crack in the eye. My wife is also bruised up,” he said.

Bruises are also clearly visible from where, Varela said, a hand was wrapped around his neck.

Varela said some of the seven men came to his home, and some were at his parents’ house.

A neighbor who asked not to be identified or show her face on camera was shocked by news of the home invasions. “They were nice people,” she said.

Varela told police he overheard one of the suspects telling someone over the phone they were at the wrong house, since they did not find any drugs. “They were telling someone on the phone, ‘I’m going to kill you. You gave me the wrong house,'” he said.

Before the men fled the scene, they left Varela with a threatening message. “They threatened me that if I called the cops, they would come back and kill my kids,” he said. “So, you know, I just want them to go to jail, because now I can’t even sleep right here. How am I going to be able to sleep tonight after what just happened, now? How are my kids going to be able to sleep, now?”

If you have any information on these armed assailants or this crime, please call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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