CRESWELL, Ore. -- The Lane County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an armed robbery at the 200 block of N. Mill Street in Creswell.
In a statement, the sheriff's office reports that shortly after 8:30 p.m. a 54-year-old woman from Junction City, a 65-year-old man from Creswell and a 72-year-old woman from Newport were inside an apartment when three white men between the ages of 20 and 35 donned masks and forced their way in.
"It's a little close to my home," said local resident Cory Artheur. "I have two young daughters so, this is supposed to be a safer community because it’s a little ways out there from Eugene and Cottage Grove."
Shelli Toftemark Smith was one of the victims. She said at the time, she was visiting a friend who was ill and in need of a kidney transplant. Toftemark Smith and her mom were checking on him when she said she was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
She said three masked suspects who had guns tried to force their way into the residence. Toftemark Smith said she tried to stop them.
"They were pushing me into the room and trying to shut the door, and I'm pushing back and I actually became like a linebacker," Toftemark Smith said.
She said there was a struggle, but eventually, the suspects made their way into the home. Toftemark Smith said she then picked up a fire extinguisher and pointed it at them. That's when she said a gun was pointed at her face.
"That's when the world really slowed down and went into slow motion. I kind of fell back into the refrigerator and went, 'Okay, this is really serious," Toftemark Smith said.
The victims say their hands were restrained with zip ties. They said the suspects were looking for guns in the residence -- and they said they believe their friend was targeted because they said he collected one-of-a-kind guns, swords and knives.
Toftemark Smith said she tried to distract the suspects and told them her friend's son was coming home. She said they fled soon after and when they did, she tried to chase their white SUV down the street.
They said the suspects got away with multiple knives, swords, jewelry, a wallet and eight handguns including four custom-made black power pistols.