One morning last January, UMW alumnus Drew Bambrick woke up to find three masked men in his bedroom.
Bambrick, who lives alone in a house in the Village of Idlewild, thought that the intruders were just his friends playing a trick on him, but the nine millimeter handgun pointed at his head proved otherwise.
“I was really in shock. It was one of those disbelief kinds of things,” Bambrick said. “Like, ‘I can’t believe this is actually happening.”
Bambrick later found out from police officials that this was the first time in five years that someone had been robbed at gunpoint in Fredericksburg.
After they were sure Bambrick was awake, the trio repeatedly warned Bambrick that the gun was real. They also asked if Bambrick wanted them to shoot a hole in the floor to prove that it was loaded.
After tying Bambrick’s hands and legs together with a telephone charger cable, the men proceeded to search his house.
Bambrick said that the robbers told him they broke into his home because they heard there was a large quantity of drugs kept there. When they couldn’t find any, they took Bamrick’s car keys, watch, money and breathalyzer instead.
Bambrick estimates that the youngest man was about 18-years-old, while the oldest was around 26. Even though the men were armed, Bambrick said that he was not afraid of them.
“You could tell by the way they acted that they weren’t going to do anything,” Bambrick said. “They were just three young guys who looked like they could have been my friends. I know kids who look and talk just like them.”
For the next 20 minutes, Bambrick sat on his bed while one of the men watched him. Bambrick said that the man even let him look at the gun after he asked politely.
“That part was so weird,” Bambrick said. “When it was happening, I was like this is going to be the craziest story later.”
When the other robbers returned, they made Bambrick lie down on the bed while they covered him with a blanket.
“That was the worst part about the whole thing,” Bambrick said. “I didn’t like the blanket because I couldn’t see what was going on.”
After the men left, Bambrick was able to cut his ties and call the police. He then found his cell phone, which the robbers agreed to leave behind, under a pile of clothes in his closet.
Bambrick said that about four or five detectives and ten police officers responded to his call. The police found little evidence and were unable to catch the robbers.
“On principle, it bothers me that they didn’t get caught,” Bambrick said.
Bambrick, whose parents own the Idlewild home, said no one else was in the house during the robbery, but his friend, alum Jaclyn Gebbia, had left just an hour before.
“My biggest concern was Jaclyn,” Bambrick said. “I was really grateful that she wasn’t there for it. When I think about it, it was the best-case scenario for a robbery. A million different things could have been worse.”
Although Bambrick said he wasn’t traumatized by the incident, he is now more careful about locking the doors to his home.
“If it happened to me again, people would just call me an idiot,” he said.
Bambrick said that the worst blow came a week after the robbery took place.
“The bastards took all my liquor,” Bambrick said. “I wanted to sit down and have a glass of gin and I realized it was all gone. Isn’t that a kick in the nuts? Who does that?”