A 79-year-old man was held at gunpoint by an unknown man at 11:30 a.m. in his Calaveritas home Jan. 4, and the gunman is still on the loose.

The victim heard noises in the basement of his house, went downstairs and saw items were amiss, according to Sgt. Chris Hewitt of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.

The homeowner went back upstairs, grabbed a rifle and went back downstairs, Hewitt said.

“While he was down there, a guy with a gun jumped out of a closet where he was hiding,” Hewitt said. “They faced off with each other.”

Sheriff’s reports state the suspect was between 18 and 25 years old, wearing a bandana mask and had a pistol.

After being threatened, the victim put down his rifle and was held at gunpoint while the man asked for directions back to a main highway, Hewitt said.

“The bad guy took off,” Hewitt said, adding the only item reported missing was a bottle of alcohol.

Detectives investigated the scene and patrol kept an eye out for the suspect, but no trace of him was found, Hewitt said.

“We have no idea why he was in the house,” Hewitt said.

“We don’t know who this guy is or where he’s from. People just need to make sure they keep their houses and cars locked. This isn’t 1960s Calaveras County anymore.”

 Contact Joel Metzger at joel@calaverasenterprise.com