Armed men on loose in Bucks home invasion, slaying

Hilltown Township Police Chief Christopher Engelhart briefs reporters in the driveway of the invaded house. The pair took one of the victims' black Lincoln pickup truck, police said.
Hilltown Township Police Chief Christopher Engelhart briefs reporters in the driveway of the invaded house. The pair took one of the victims' black Lincoln pickup truck, police said. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: January 20, 2013

Police and federal investigators were searching Friday night for two armed bandits suspected of killing a man and tying up his girlfriend and her 12-year-old son during a home invasion and robbery in a remote section of Hilltown Township, Bucks County.

Wearing masks and carrying handguns, the bandits entered the home Friday morning, police said. The dead man was identified as Joseph Canazaro, 48. The woman and the boy, who suffered minor injuries, were not identified.

The two - one about 5-foot-9, the other a shorter Asian man wearing a black jacket and cargo pants - spent at least a couple of hours in the house on Swartley Road before driving away with several guns in a black Lincoln pickup truck that belonged to one of the victims, police said.

Police did not offer details on how the bandits arrived at the home, how they entered it, or what types of guns or other items they may have taken.

About 10 a.m., the woman escaped and ran to a neighbor's house to call 911, police said. A second child had left for school before the pair entered the home, police said.

Police said Canazaro and the woman lived in the home but did not own it, and property records do not list Canazaro as an owner.

Records list Canazaro as an executive in the group that owns Finn McCool's Pub in Ambler, and there were several messages expressing condolences left on the pub's Facebook wall.

According to court records, Canazaro was charged in Bucks County in 1993 with possessing a gun with intent to use it in a crime.

Friends and family of the victims gathered at the Hilltown Township Police Department, where detectives interviewed the woman. Those at the station declined to speak to reporters.

In the afternoon, police announced that they had recovered the stolen vehicle in upper Bucks County, but did not offer details on where it was found or whether anything was recovered inside the truck.

The robbers, described as armed and dangerous, remained at large, police said, adding that the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives agents joined the investigation.

The investigation was "very fluid," Hilltown Police Chief Christopher Engelhart said Friday morning, and police combed the property throughout the day.

The large home has several front-facing windows, a long driveway, and fields surrounding it. There is a basketball court next to the house, and hay bales line the fence that borders a neighbor's property. A paintball facility is at the property's other end.

Hilltown police would not say when the last homicide occurred in the township, but according to township records online, one was recorded between August 2011 and September 2012.


Contact Chris Palmer at 609-217-8305, cpalmer@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @cs_palmer.

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