Women ambushed at church-run halfway house

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ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - Rockdale County sheriff’s deputies are searching for three men who they say robbed and terrorized women living in a church-based halfway house.

Investigators say the three gunmen even tied one of the victims up with an electrical cord before stealing the home’s only mode of transportation.

The victims told Channel 2’s Tom Regan they are still shaken by the robbery, which happened on the Fourth of July.

"They were very violent, put guns to everyone's head, threatened to kill them all if they called police,” said Cpl. Mike Camp with the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators told Regan the armed men ambushed three of the woman as they arrived home from work. Deputies say the men forced the woman into the house at gunpoint and confronted four other residents inside.

"(The men) put them on the floor, asking for cash, anything they could get their hands on. One of the victims was bound with a cable they ripped off the back of the TV,” said Camp. "At that point, they go through all the purses of the victims. They get bank cards, debit cards, small amount of cash, a few electronic items, laptops, and then they end up stealing two minivans that belong to the victims at the house.”

The home is used as transitional housing for women recovering from drug addiction. The women say they used the vans to get to and from work.

One of the stolen minivans resembles a 2005 Chrysler Caravan. The other was found abandoned in Lithonia the day after the crime.

Investigators say one of the gunmen used a stolen debit card.

"We're working with the bank to try to get ATM surveillance pictures of one of the suspects,” said Camp. "We're still trying to find out why they targeted the house."

Late Wednesday afternoon investigators told Regan they may have found the second van.

The sheriff’s office is working to establish a Crime Stoppers reward in hope it will lead to tips that lead to the gunmen.