SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Tim and Anne Nelson had just pulled into their driveway, returning from a Thursday evening dinner at a Mexican restaurant to their Chatham Woods home. A strange car was sitting out front.
Police say the man, who had stolen that car earlier, was armed and would soon steal the Nelsons’ money. The couple told police the man approached them around 7 p.m. in their driveway in the 4400 block of Kendal Way.
“I heard my wife scream,” Nelson said about when the gunman confronted them. “So I kind of bolted towards her like I was gonna tackle the guy, but before I got there he pivoted around and pointed a gun in my face and I stopped dead in my tracks.”
The man forced the Nelsons back in their car and had them drive to an ATM on College Drive where the withdrawal limit was $500.
Then he forced them to drive to a Wawa on Victory Boulevard in Portsmouth.
“He had the gun pointed at my wife and he said go in there and make it quick and get me cigarettes,” Nelson said, adding that he was worried that she might be hurt while he ran their abductor’s errand.
Then they were forced to do more driving through some back streets of Portsmouth, where police say he had stolen a car earlier Thursday and said he now wanted to meet a buddy.
“Then he told us to stop and he got out of the back seat and that was it.”
The couple were shaken to the core, but unharmed. The terror of being held at gunpoint and robbed lasted about 35 minutes in the two places one usually believes they’re safe: their home and their car.
Nelson says it did not seem like the gunman was drunk or on drugs.
“It was almost as if he was apologetic, which I found odd, because he kept saying ‘I’m not gonna hurt you, just things are bad for me, I wish I wouldn’t have to do this.'”
Police are looking for a white male, about 5 feet 5 inches tall with a skinny build. He was wearing baggy clothing, a baseball cap and a dark mask covering the lower half of his face. Police also say he drove a vehicle stolen during a Portsmouth home invasion to the couple’s home in Suffolk.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP (1-888-562-5887) or submit a tip online.
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