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Updated: 22-year-old arrested in elderly Mennonite home invasion - abc27 WHTM

Lancaster County

Updated: 22-year-old arrested in elderly Mennonite home invasion

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Derek Holt (submitted photo) Derek Holt (submitted photo)
EPHRATA, Pa. (WHTM) -

Police in Lancaster County have made an arrest in a bizarre, violent home invasion in which three elderly women were restrained for hours.

In a news release Sunday afternoon, Northern Lancaster Regional police identified the suspect as 22-year-old Derek Taylor Holt. Investigators said he has no fixed address.

The incident happened Friday at a home on the 300-block of Indiantown Road in Clay Township, according to Northern Lancaster County Regional police.

At last check, investigators said the women -- ages 84-90 -- remain at Ephrata Hospital, but are expected to be released soon.

Police said a relative discovered the women Friday afternoon bound and restrained inside the home after it was ransacked and household chemicals were used to cover flooring and furniture.

According to a preliminary investigation, police said it's believed a man posing as an insurance salesman gained access to the home sometime between 9 and 10 a.m. Once inside, he repeatedly attacked the two women home at the time using a stun gun.

He then retrained both women with tape and covered their faces, police said, and began to ransack the home for valuables.

The victims told police during this invasion, the man spoke to them several times and indicated "rage" towards the Mennonite faith, reading several passages from the bible and then vandalizing the bible used in the home.

A short time later, a third woman arrived at the home and was also attacked. All of the victims were bound and restrained for approximately four hours after the suspect left the home, police said.

Holt is charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, ethnic intimidation, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, robbery, burglary, and theft by unlawful taking.

Police said Holt is being held in Lancaster County Prison in lieu of $1 million. More information is to be released at a press conference Monday afternoon, police said.

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