ST. HELENA PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Two people were restrained inside and injured during a home invasion in St. Helena Parish, officials say.
The St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office says on April 26 around 4:30 a.m., deputies got a call that two people had invaded a home, assaulted, robbed, and restrained the two people inside their home on Hano Road.
Jack Bennett's body is still riddled with bruises, cuts, and scrapes in the weeks following the ordeal. They serve as remnants of the battle leftover from that night he has relived more times than he can count, as two armed men kicked in his front door, pointed a gun at him and his girlfriend, and demanded money.
"They kept kicking me in my private area and busted my lip," Bennett explained. "When they kicked the front door down, I thought it was thunder. Then when I realized it wasn't thunder, it was too late. They were already in the bedroom."
The couple was asleep at the time of the break-in. Bennett says the masked men tore a hole in his bedroom door and got right down to business.
"They just kept pushing the issue of where the money was and if I didn't tell them where the money was, they were going to shoot," he said.
Those kicks were just the beginning of the horrifying ordeal. Bennett says the robbers zip-tied both his and his girlfriend's hands and feet and forced them to lie face down on their bedroom floor.
"They turned all of the furniture over in here and they rolled the bed over on us," Bennett added.
He says the robbers spent the next hour and a half mangling the inside of the home in a desperate search for money. He remembers the only breaks they took were to beat him and demand more. In the end, he says the two men made off with thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry and about $500 in cash. Perhaps more valuable, he says they also stole his peace of mind.
"Yeah, I was scared," said Bennett.
Nearly two weeks later, the homeowner is outraged with the speed the case is moving and says he's not happy with how the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office is handling it. He tells WAFB he's fed up with the fact that no arrest has been made and he's not convinced deputies are taking it seriously.
"In my opinion, I hear stuff happen, but I don't ever hear anything get solved around here," said Bennett.
While Bennett says he has a pretty good idea who carried out the crime, the sheriff's office says that's not enough to go on in the case. In a statement, Chief Deputy Joe Chaney wrote, "We understand that he's frustrated, but we have to follow the law and have probable cause to carry out an arrest."
As for the investigation, Chaney added, "We've been investigating this and interviewing people since we learned about this case, but sometimes it just takes time. We remain devoted to solving this and any other crime in our parish."
More than anything though, Bennet says he just wants closure and wants his neighbors to know these two men are still out there.
"Everybody out here should know that we have at least two people in our neighborhood that don't give a damn about nobody or their life and don't have any respect for anybody," Bennett added.
Bennett says he's offering $500 each for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the men responsible.
Anyone with information should contact the St. Helena Parish Sheriff's Office at 1-800-200-4905 or 225-222-4413. Those with info can also call Tangi Crime Stoppers at 1-800-554-5245.