WARREN - While an elderly Washington Street N.E. couple recover from injuries dished out by a trio of masked attackers Tuesday night, detectives still are trying to turn up leads in the case.
When reports first surfaced of a gun pressed to the forehead of a 70-year-old woman by one intruder demanding to know where her money was, some officers were reminded of similar high-profile home invasions in the past aimed at elderly victims.
''Elderly victims can be targeted the first of every month. That's when Social Security checks arrive. And that's why we always recommend direct deposits with that money,'' said Lisa Solley of Area Agency on Aging 11.
Solley, chief of community relations for the agency, said she is well aware of how the Washington Street neighborhood has gained the reputation as a high-crime area.
''Sometimes it's tough to change the mentality of a neighborhood like that. We often see older adults who have lived there a long time. They're used to helping out people by having them do odd jobs for money.
''Sometimes they're unaware of the background of the individuals helping them out. That's why background checks are crucial in settings like that,'' said Solley, who recommends elderly residents call a 211 help hotline to get advice if they're unsure.
Although the report from Tuesday's home invasion isn't clear on how entry was gained, Solley also said a deadbolt lock or two on the door is always an important safeguard.
Jeanne Pierce, 70, of 171 Washington, told police she was sitting in her living room when the three masked intruders came in. The report doesn't say if they forced their way in or were allowed in before she was pistol-whipped.
Her husband Raymond, 80, was beaten with what he thought was a wrench while he was lying in his bed.
Both were taken to area hospitals for treatment and both were later released and staying with friends or relatives in the meantime, detectives said.
It was May 6, 1986, when Charles Lorraine broke into the Warren home of an elderly couple he had befriended by cutting their grass and shoveling their snow. Raymond Montgomery, 77, and his wife, Doris, 80, where both murdered by Lorraine, who stole money from the couple, spending it later at a local bar.
George Melnick, 65, was murdered and his wife, Katherine, 64, was sexually assaulted and blinded by Andre Williams and another attacker on Aug. 15, 1988, inside their Wick Street S.E. home.
Williams and Lorraine both remain on Ohio's death row.