Officers responded to the scene, in the 6900 block of Inlay Street SE in Lacey, at about 4:20 a.m. after receiving a report of a home invasion robbery, said Lt. Phil Comstock of the Lacey Police Department.
When police arrived, the woman told them that the group of three men had fled the home moments before.
But the thieves didn't get away with much - all the loot was stashed in a plastic bag that ripped open as they were fleeing the scene. The contents and valuables spilled out of the torn bag onto the floor, and the robbers didn't take the time to stop and retrieve it.
An investigation found that the three robbers got into the house by breaking out a window. They then awakened the woman and two boys, 7-year-old Sonny and 9-year-old Tommy, who were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom.
Tommy later told KOMO News, "They snuck into the house, and then they screamed, 'Hey!' and woke me up. And then they had a gun, and they told my nanny to be quiet and don't yell."
All three occupants were bound with duct tape and forced to remain in the bedroom while the suspects trashed the residence, looking for money, valuables and jewelry, Comstock said.
During the ordeal, Tommy said he really had to go the bathroom, but the robbers refused to let him.
"They told me to pee in the bed or pee in my pants," Tommy told KOMO News.
The boys and their nanny could hear the robbers trashing the house as they sat in the bedroom with tape around their ankles and arms and over their mouths. The boys, who speak more than one language, said the robbers were speaking in Vietnamese, English and possibly Cambodian.
"I felt scared," Tommy said.
"It was pretty serious for the two boys," says a family friend, Duong, who only wants her last name used. "I have no idea who would do this. ... We have nothing in the house to grab anyway."
As the robbers fled, the boys and their nanny said they could hear a car and a motorcycle leaving the scene. The victims were able to free themselves and call another family member who then notified police.
"I bit the tape off of my hand, and then ... I got loose," said Tommy. "My babysitter, she copied what I did and got loose, too, and I helped my little brother to escape."
The robbers were described as wearing all black clothing, with hooded tops and masks over their faces, Comstock said.
The woman and the children were not injured.
The case remains under active investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Lacey Police Department at (360) 459-4333 or call the Olympia-Thurston County Crime Stoppers at (360) 493-2222.