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Armed home invasions hit Seattle neighborhood

(AP)

A violent series of armed robberies have hit the Seattle’s Beacon Hill where three, armed men kicked in doors and held residents hostage while they ransacked the victims’ homes. There have been no arrests.

The first home invasion occurred in the early morning of February 16 where three masked suspects armed with guns broke into a home on Alamo Place South, where three roommates reside. The suspects, male Hispanics in their 20s, kicked in doors to the rooms of three roommates, held guns to their heads, and demanded money and drugs. According to the police report, the trio originally broke into the residence via an unsecured window on the south side of the home.

The second home invasion occurred the very next night — this time on 22nd Ave South, not far from the first robbery. According to the police report, three masked men, armed with pistols and a shotgun, broke into the home. One man was home alone at the time. Again, the suspects held a gun to his head and rummaged through the home. The victim was restrained with a plastic zip-tie, which held the victim’s feet together.

The suspects each took turns guarding the man while the other two ransacked the home. According to the report, “As each suspect guarded him they placed the firearms to his head and lower back.”

In this case, one of the suspects shot the victim with a taser, one probe hitting the man in the jaw, and the other his shoulder. The report says:

“The suspects continued to demand money and valuables, spraying him in the eyes with an unknown chemical before departing his room. As the suspects were leaving [his] room [the victim] heard a gun shot, just outside of his room.”

The suspects laughed at the victim as they sprayed his face with what may have been lighter fluid. Police, using a K9 unit, were unable to track the suspects. A semi-automatic pistol and magazines, plus a 20-gauge shotgun, were stolen in this robbery.

Though the Seattle Police Department does not believe the public is at risk, it’s possible that more cases will be tied to these three suspects. And while police haven’t yet officially tied these two cases to each other, it’s hard not to note the similarities.

“Detectives are still working to see if the two cases are, in fact, the same suspects,” said Detective Patrick Michaud. “We hope to have more on that as soon as tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.”

It didn’t take long after I posted this for people to reach out, including one Seattle police officer who expressed frustrating over these robberies.

“At least once week we have home-invasion robberies,” the officer explained. “We’re routinely catching people and then having to release them … when they’re juveniles.”

The officer described a system of catch and release due, in large part, to “restorative justice.”

“I hate to point the finger at other people in the process … but we will do the job and the prosecutor’s office is taking a line that ‘We won’t hold these kids,’ according to the source, who says judges will release juveniles up until their third offense, wiping the slate clean.”

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