Being on the phone with her husband when a group of men came to the door may have saved a Hesperia woman's life.

On January 17, the woman was home with her children in her house on the 15500 block of Muscatel Street shortly before 6 p.m.

"She was home cleaning house," said San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Roxanne Walker. "And all of the sudden these guys come charging through the door."

The four to five Hispanic men knew she owned a business in another city and were allegedly there to extort money. But her husband -- although not at home at the time -- was listening in.

"She was on the phone," Walker said. "They took the phone and took her to a room with her kids."

While the woman and four of her children were held at gunpoint in a bedroom, her husband began calling for help in Hesperia. A friend of the family was sent to the house to see what was happening, and was taken hostage himself, struck in the head with an unknown object and tied up in the same bedroom as the wife and children.

Deputy Alex Zapata arrived at the residence, responding to the husband's 911 call.

"One of the suspects came out, posing as a resident of the house, and red flags went up everywhere," Walker said.

Zapata arrested the man -- Ernesto Loya, 47, of Fresno -- and another suspect, Mario Alberto Penaloza, 24, also of Fresno.

Both were taken into custody without incident and booked at West Valley Detention Center on $100,000 bail on charges of residential robbery, kidnapping and cruelty to a child.

The other suspects remain at large.

"There are at least two more out there and to my knowledge, they're still outstanding," Walker said.

Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the Hesperia sheriff's station at 947-1500 or the anonymous WE-TIP line at (800) 782-7463.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.