Donald and Marie Biggs say they were asleep in their Nanaimo home around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday when they awoke to a nightmare.
“A guy was standing in the doorway with a mask on. So I knew it was bad,” Donald told Global News.
The couple, in their 70s, says three masked strangers broke into their Garner Crescent home in the middle of the night.
Donald says he tried to fend off the first suspect but was quickly knocked to the ground.
“I ran at him,” he said. “We got into a tussle and then he hit me on the head with some kind of a club.”
Bleeding from a gash on his head, Donald says the same man then tied him up and forced him to lie face down on the floor.
“He handcuffed and put my hands together with rope or belts, my own belts,” he said.
WATCH: Investigation underway into violent Nanaimo home invasion
“I heard him thump on the floor,” Marie told Global News. “Then when I went to come out of the bedroom, the guy was standing there with a gun.”
As one suspect kept watch over her husband, the two other men, one brandishing a gun, began ransacking the Biggs’ home, the couple says.
Marie says she feared they would harm her or the couple’s small dog, Casey.
“The one fellow said: ‘We’re not here to hurt anybody, just do as you’re told.'”
Donald says he yelled out to his wife, advising her to hand over all her jewelry.
“I remember telling that guy that was doing me in, I said, ‘Be careful, my wife’s just had a broken arm up in her shoulder.’ I said, ‘Jeez, don’t hurt her.”
The suspects allegedly fled in the couple’s car, a 2008 Lexus IS 250.
Police say the vehicle has since been located but without the $50,000 worth of custom-made jewelry, bank and credit cards and other personal possessions the Biggs say were stolen during the home invasion. Among the items lost was a computer storing priceless family photos that the couple would love to get back.
Police believe the trio of intruders hit the wrong address.
“Based on interviews with the victims and certain things said by the suspects, we believe the suspects mistakenly entered the wrong home,” said Const. Gary O’Brien of Nanaimo RCMP.
Donald admits he was “probably next door to stupid to even attack the guy” but says his instinct took over in the heat of the moment.
“I rustled him pretty good for a minute or two until he hit me with a goddamn club,” he added.
The suspects did not hurt Marie or the dog, but the wound on Donald’s head required eight stitches to close.
The seniors, who have been married for more than 50 years, say they are traumatized by the ordeal and want the suspects to be caught.