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Cumberland Police: Home invasion suspects stole guns

March 3, 2011

CUMBERLAND — The 66-year-old victim of last week's violent home invasion at 124 Overhill Road in Cumberland has been identified as Harvey O. Salvas, who also is a staff member of the Rhode Island Governor's Commission on Disabilities.
Salvas is the commission's state Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator specializing in accessibility and assistive technology. He is also a former building official in Cumberland.
In other new information related to the case, police say the three masked bandits who broke into Salvas' home last Wednesday night had gone there specifically to steal guns owned by Salvas. Last week, police would only say that the home had been the target of the intruders, and that the burglary was not a random act.
Police say the suspects, who remain at large, did manage to escape with an unidentified number of firearms that had been kept in a gun locker in Salvas' basement. Police are not sure how the intruders knew the guns were inside the home.
Salvas, who struggled with the suspects before they escaped, was taken to Rhode Island Hospital where he was treated and released for a non-life threatening injury to the head. Salvas had told police that one of the intruders possessed a firearm, and another possessed some type of bladed weapon. Earlier police reports stated that Salvas had suffered a gunshot wound to his head, but police are still not commenting on the definitive cause of the injury, saying it is still unclear whether Salvas was injured by a gun firing or the knife blade.
Police, however, do not dispute the fact that a violent struggle did ensue when Salvas returned home last Wednesday to find the three masked men in his home. Police said the department received a call around 10 p.m. of a report of a burglary that had taken place at a residence.
"The resident, a 66-year-old male, came home to find three masked intruders in the basement of his home," Police Chief John Desmarais said in a statement last week. "A struggled ensued resulting in the homeowner receiving a head injury as well as injuries to his hand and legs. After the struggle police were able to determine that the intruders fled the residence by stealing the homeowner’s vehicle (a gray 2000 Jeep). After canvassing the area police were able to locate the stolen vehicle the next street over, near a wooded area."
Police have reported that Salvas' wife was home at the time of the break-in, but was upstairs and not in sight of the burglars.
The three white males, said to be in their teens or early 20s, were still at large as of today. An all-points bulletin was put out for the suspects, all wearing black hats and masks. They were said to be armed and considered dangerous.


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