Man thought armed robbery might be joke

Assailant took $6 after firing shot at Hazel Dell home

By Paul Suarez, Columbian web producer

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Charles Williams said if he was 50 years younger, he probably would have tried to do something to stop a robber who confronted him at his home last week.

The 79-year-old and his wife, Annie, were pulling their car into their Hazel Dell garage Friday evening when a masked man pointed what looked like a .45 caliber pistol in their car window and demanded cash.

At first, Williams thought it might be some sort of joke. Turns out they were about to become victims of a home invasion robbery.

The robber is described as a white man, 5-feet, 10-inches, 180 pounds, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, according to a release from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. When he kept on demanding cash, Williams got out of the car to tell the robber he didn’t have any money. At that point, the robber fired his gun.

Williams thought something was off. He wasn’t hit and the shot didn’t sound like it came from a real gun, he said.

“It was in between a kid’s pop gun and something serious,” his wife Annie told The Columbian on Monday.

Annie had $6 in cash left from a recent trip to the grocery store. She handed it to her husband and he gave it to the robber, who fled with the cash.

The Williamses went inside their home, locked the doors and called 911. Within minutes, patrol deputies, Washington State Patrol, the sheriff’s tactical detective unit, Vancouver police and four K9 units responded to the scene.

Now the Wiliamses are being cautious, especially when you hear things like “they always return to the scene of the crime,” Williams said. But he’s not too worried.

“If I had only got six bucks, I think I’d look for a more lucrative place,” he said.

The sheriff’s office is still investigating the case.

Second home invasion

The Williamses weren’t the only victims of a home invasion robbery in Clark County over the weekend. Another occurred on Saturday at a home on Pacific Way near Vancouver Plaza.

According to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian, three masked men, armed with guns, entered a home on the 3900 block of Pacific Way and demanded money. The men broke a television and threw the homeowners’ phones on the ground before leaving. The group fled west toward the shopping center complex. Police searched the area for an hour, but didn’t find the suspects.

A man at the home declined an interview request from The Columbian on Tuesday.

Detectives are investigating to see if there are any connections between the victims and the robbers, Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp said.

“Oftentimes (with home robberies), there can be a drug connection, there can be an association connection,” but not always, Kapp said.