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Robbers hunting lottery cash hold pair at gunpoint

By Seth Burkett 340-2355

Two robbers invaded a woman's home and held her and her son at gunpoint while they searched for lottery winnings that she didn't have, Decatur police said Monday.

Amber Rollins, 36, said the men barged into her apartment in the 300 block of Austinville Road early Friday.

"They knocked on the door and asked for my son. It was about 1:30 in the morning, and I thought it was one of my son's friends," said Rollins.

"I peeped out the peephole and they were gone. I was going to try and catch them before they got back in the car, and when I opened the door a black guy put a gun in my face. He had a hoodie tied tight over his face, and the only thing I saw was his nose.

"Then they told me and my son to get on the floor. They separated us. They put me in my room and him in his room on the floor with sheets over our heads. They kept on asking me, 'Amber, where's the money at?' "

Rollins had won a small amount in the Tennessee Lottery, but "the rumor had been put out that I had hit on $24,000," she said. "I guess they were after the money they thought I had won. . . . I keep some money around to go to the grocery store, but I don't keep a large amount of money like that around the house."

Rollins said she overheard the gunman and an accomplice, who entered after the sheet had been placed over her, interrogating her son, 18-year-old Dante Rollins, in the other room.

"I was just hoping that they wouldn't do nothing to my son. They were asking him where the money was. . . . I heard him cry out, I guess that was when they hit him in the back of his head. He had a knot on his head," she said.

The robbers took about $280 cash and three cell phones from the residence, then fled in an unknown direction, according to the police report.

"When we got up, my apartment was just tore up," Rollins said.

The gunman was described as about 6 feet, 170 pounds, with a medium complexion. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark pants, and green and white sneakers, police said. Both men were possibly in their early 20s.

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