12/27/2011 08:14 EST | Updated 02/26/2012 05:12 EST

Brutal Toronto Home Invasion Shakes Family


A Toronto family was shaken by a violent home invasion in which they were attacked, restrained and robbed early Tuesday, police say.

At least five men broke into the house, on Brewster Crescent near Jane Street and Sheppard Avenue in the city's northwest, around 3 a.m. They assaulted several people before restraining them and ransacking the home, officers said.

It's the third time the two-storey house, located on a tree-lined street of mostly bungalows, has been robbed.

Six people were at home when the men attacked, including two seniors, Staff Sgt. Ian Lamond said. The assailants had a variety of weapons, including knives and possibly a baseball bat and stun gun, he added.

One of the victims eventually escaped the restraints and headed to a neighbour's house for help at around 5:30 a.m.

"He came and bang at the door. We didn't know who it was. At the moment, I thought somebody was trying to get inside my house," neighbour Ugo Bottero said.

"So I called police and when they came … they told me that they were the people trying to get some help."

Bottero said his neighbours are a quiet, normal Vietnamese family, "like everybody else. I don't see anything strange from them."

Another nearby resident, Ercole D'Amico, said he has lived in the neighbourhood for 43 years, "and this is first time I hear of this happening in the area." D'Amico said he has seen the family entering and exiting the house, but they were always quiet and he had no interactions with them.

'It's not a random act'

Lamond said, however, that the home was probably targeted.

"Home invasions are almost never random. It's highly unlikely that anyone's going to be a victim of a home invasion. It's not a random act, usually," he said.

Investigators at the scene had to wait for an emergency crew before they could enter the house because the robbers had ripped out the fireplace, causing a gas leak. The perpetrators also dug up the floor of an outside shed, police said.

Police suspect the men were looking for money and they did leave with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Three of the victims were taken to hospital with "blunt-force trauma injuries — bruises, cuts, that sort of thing," Lamond said.

Police say they plan to release descriptions of the suspects Wednesday.