When Coti brown and his family left their house the morning of Sept. 21, they were going to visit their sister, Amber, in the hospital.
She had recently suffered from a brain hemorrhage and seizure.
Shortly after they left, two masked men dressed in all black broke into their home around noon. They grabbed a suitcase owned by Brown’s mother and his brother’s backpack, stuffing both with items.
They even stole two safes containing over 10 years’ worth of family savings, Brown said.
A third suspect was waiting in a car parked just down the street. The three men drove off in a white SUV with no front license plates, according to a public post by the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.
Brown said he and his family decided to offer a reward of up to $5,000 to anyone who is able to provide information about the three suspects.
“In all honesty, we’re kind of desperate for information,” he said. “This is the first time we’ve ever had to deal with something like this.”
Brown helps his mother run the family restaurant, Food Craft in Yorktown. He added his mom has worked in the restaurant industry since her 20s and has worked hard to provide for him and his siblings as a single parent.
“She was planning on retiring in a couple years, but with all that’s happening and with us being robbed, my mom won’t be able to retire anytime soon,” he said.
But as tragedy strikes, so does a community show its true colors.
Brown said many who come into their restaurant have asked how they are doing and even donated to a GoFundMe page Brown set up to help his mother out.
“We didn’t ever expect the kind of support we’ve been getting,” he said. “It’s made a big difference for me and my family.”
Brown added his sister is also back home and on the mend, but he and his family are still hoping someone will recognize the men and come forward with any helpful information.
Just yesterday, the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office released more photos of the suspects, including images captured of the one driving the car, on their social media.
To report any information regarding the suspects or the crime, contact the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office at 757-890-4999 or the Crime Line at 888-LOCK-U-UP.
Authorities ask callers refer to report No. 2002989.
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