(PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo.) — The victim in a home invasion that happened in early November is now speaking, while issuing a warning about answering the door for people you don’t know.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 8, Derek Seales was home by himself in a camper on his grandfather’s property, when he heard a knock at his door.
“I didn’t see any vehicles. I was like, ‘That’s kind of weird’. So I sat back down, started doing my thing, and hear a knock on the door, and I open it and it’s four guys dressed as construction workers,” Seales said.
He added they were wearing reflective vests and holding a clipboard. They asked him if the owner of the home was present and could sign something that would allow them to dig nearby.
“I was like, ‘No’. And he pulled out a gun… and told me to get down.”
Seales said he shut the door to his trailer and looked around for any type of weapon, but he couldn’t find anything. They eventually burst in, tying his hands and putting a pillow case over his head. They dragged him out and had him open his grandfather’s code-locked shop.
From there, Seales said they spotted the large safe in the middle of the shop, and started working to get it open.
That’s when Seales said he saw his chance to get away.
“I tried to run away and I got to the end of the house down there and my hands were behind my back and I just lost my balance and went down… and fell on both my elbows, cut those all up,” Seales said.
The men chased him down and tied him up with an extension cord, kicking him and demanding the combination to the safe.
“One guy comes in, kneels next to me and tells me, ‘I swear on my three kids, if you don’t tell me the combination, I’m going to shoot and kill you’,” Seales said.
Seales told the guy he didn’t know the combination, and they then hit him with a crowbar across his back, before stuffing him into a corner of the shop, continuing to threaten they would shoot him.
“All I could think about was seeing my kids again. That’s all I wanted,” Seales said. “And to think I’m never going to see my kids again.”
Then, Seales said the men brought in his grandfather’s Bobcat tractor and ransacked the place. Seales said they took guns, more than 30 boxes of ammunition and even things with high sentimental value like a one-of-a-kind silver bracelet, and war medals from his great-grandfather.
“They’re family emblems. They’re just going to stay in the family and those are irreplaceable,” Seales said.
He said his grandfather’s truck was also taken, but it showed up a week later. Now, Seales said they are left with the memory.
“Just uncontrollably shaking — like, the worst I’ve ever seen. It was so scary.”
Seales said he hopes this doesn’t happen to anyone else, and people use discretion when asnwering the door to someone they don’t know.
“Somebody needs to recognize this guy and come forward so nobody else gets hurt or killed,” he said. “I mean, it’s come to that in this world where you can’t even answer your door anymore.”
The Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office provided a statement to FOX21 News on the investigation:
“This is an active investigation. We have identified the man whose picture we posted last week in connection with this crime. No arrests have been made.”