Pair rob Niles man at gunpoint at his home

Published 3:02 am Monday, April 28, 2003

By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Two men robbed a Niles man at gunpoint at his home and made away with an undisclosed amount of cash and a coin collection worth $200 on Friday evening.
Terry Benish, who is superintendent of Niles Wastewater Treatment Plant, lives at 1645 Sioux Trail in Niles.
He said this morning he had been out shopping in South Bend, Ind., and had just arrived home at about 10 p.m. Friday when the armed robbery took place.
Benish said he had just entered his house and put his groceries on the kitchen floor, when somebody knocked on his front door.
Benish, who said he was alone in his house at the time of the robbery, said the two armed robbers didn't physically injure him.
However, they did ask where all the phones in the house were located.
When Benish told them where the phones were, the robbers damaged them so that he could not call for help after they had left.
After the two men fled, Benish called the police.
Benish said he was totally surprised by the two armed robbers.
Benish doesn't know how the two armed robbers escaped, and said he didn't see their escape vehicle, if they had one.
He said he doesn't know why the two men chose his house as a target for their crime.
The two suspects, according to Benish, were black males.
One of the suspects was wearing a gray sweater, he said.
The two suspects have not been caught and Niles City Police are still investigating the incident.
A press release issued this morning by Niles police described the two as black males, one about 6 feet one inch tall and weighing 230 pounds and the other 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing about 180 pounds.
The press release said the suspects demanded money and weapons.
Police said as one suspect ransacked Benish's home looking for money and weapons, the other took him into a bedroom, then put him into a bathroom while they fled.
Police detectives were able to collect evidence at the scene. Benish suffered no physical injuries, police said.
Niles City Police were assisted by troopers from the Michigan State Police Post 53 in Niles.
City Police said a reward for any information about the crime is being offered and that any information or informant's name will be kept confidential. Information should be forwarded to the City of Niles Police Department Detectives Bureau at 683-0404.