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Woman, 90, uses 'NCIS' fingerprint trick in bid to nab robbers

An elderly California woman used a trick picked up from her favorite crime drama to help bust two home invaders. KNBC's Kim Baldonado reports.

A 90-year-old Los Angeles-area woman who was mugged and dragged into her home had credited the television show "NCIS" for helping her plan a ruse to obtain fingerprints from her alleged attackers.

The woman, whose first name is Barbara and requested that her last name not be used, was assaulted by two men who tied her up in her home and ransacked it while stealing some of her valuables.

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"They forced her back into her residence, they tied her up to her chair, they physically removed her jewelry from her, ripping her blouse," said Jim Amormino of the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

That's when her love of "NCIS," a procedural crime drama on CBS, inspired her to trick one of the men.

"I called to him and said, 'may I have that drink of water now,' thinking that I'd get fingerprints off the glass, but he had gloves on so they didn't get that," she said.

"I watch 'NCIS,' which I dearly love, and I've watched it all," Barbara said. "If there's a marathon on I'll sit and watch the whole thing. I think that some of that stuff I picked up from off of that."

During the entire incident, she remained calm and eventually used her Life Alert remote to call for help.

"I'm a graduate from UCLA and being a mathematician, everything that I do, I kind of think it through and figure it out," said the 90-year-old.

Thanks to her description of one of the attackers, police were able to create a composite sketch. An investigator saw the sketch and recognized the suspect from a similar case in Sunset Beach. After bringing in the 23-year-old parolee from Long Beach, authorities say she was able to pick the man out of a lineup.

A second suspect is on the loose.

Anyone with information was asked to call 855-TIP-OCCS, the Orange County Crime Stoppers Organization.

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