San Francisco - San Francisco police are investigating a spree of home-invasion robberies and early-morning burglaries in which invaders go into homes with residents inside.
The most recent incident happened at about 11 a.m. Monday, when four men in masks kicked down a steel front gate and door of a home on Brookdale Avenue in Visitacion Valley.
One of the intruders made their way downstairs to the garage, where a 76-year-old woman was washing clothes.
One of the intruders "pointed a firearm at one of the victims while other suspects ransacked the home," said Officer Tiffany Hang, a San Francisco police spokeswoman.
A relative told KTVU the woman was pistol-whipped.
"The elderly victim was able to flee from the scene and flag down the officers in the area for assistance," Hang said.
The intruders escaped with jewelry. The woman was taken to a hospital for injuries that were not life-threatening.
This isn't the first home invasion targeting elderly victims.
Last Wednesday at about 1 p.m., two men with guns invaded a home on Polaris Way in the Crocker-Amazon neighborhood. Among the victims was an 84 year old man. They escaped with money, wallets and handbags.
Intruders aren't just targeting homes in broad daylight.
Surveillance video shows armed burglars in the Bernal Heights neighborhood in the middle of the night last week.
They broke open a lock box and then went inside as Ben Couillard and his wife slept.
"They opened the door to our bedroom," Couillard said.
Their dog started barking and the intruders left, but not before going to the garage and stealing an expensive bike and a laptop.
Couillard says there have been other robberies and thefts nearby in recent weeks.
"It does seem like our neighborhood is being targeted," he said, adding he feels "not safe in our own neighborhood. I think we have a really strong community, and everybody is scared about what's happening."