Spokane Law Enforcement Investigating Three Home Invasion Robber - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Spokane Law Enforcement Investigating Three Home Invasion Robberies in Less than 24 Hrs.

SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane's law enforcement is now investigating three home invasion robberies in less than 24 hours. Officials said they are focused on finding the people responsible but without any apparent connection and no idea who could be next, many people in the community are on edge.

The first home invasion robbery happened on Tuesday night on the 900 block of E. Princeton in northeast Spokane. In that break-in, one of the suspects shot a father in the upper leg while he protected his children.

An hour later, intruders broke into a home on the 4400 block of E. 46th at the top of the South Hill. The intruders held the entire family at gunpoint, hitting one homeowner with the butt of his gun, and then made off with two safes filled with cash and coins. The victims said the crime happened in less than 45 seconds.

Then early Thursday morning, Spokane police said two men broke into a home on the 1600 block of W. Spofford Ave. in north Spokane. The five victims inside reported to police that the men broke in through the back door around 1AM, armed with a handgun. Police said one of the intruders struck the homeowner with a handgun.

Officer Dan Waters said the suspect "Tried to get his wallet, tried to get some money from him and a TV, and fled."

One of the suspects was described as a white male, 5'7" to 6' tall, 200 lbs, wearing dark clothing with a blue bandana over his face. The second suspect stayed near the back of the house and victims were unable to describe him. Police said the pair could be driving a late 80's or early 90's Chevy Cavalier.

Margaret Spencer lives just a few doors down on W. Spofford. Despite that she was the victim of a home invasion a couple years ago, she said she's not losing any sleep over the recent string of home invasion robberies.

"Well, I'm not going to get panic-struck on the account of it," Spencer said. "Naturally, you don't think it's going to happen to you. You figure, you already had one little incident, it's not going to happen again."

But others, like Michael Crouse, who owns a local home security company believes this is a far more troubling trend.

"There's a level of intensity of break-ins that I have never seen in all of my career in 18 years in the business," Crouse said. "There are a lot of people that are desperate and you can't really tie it to any one key element. It's like a perfect storm in Spokane."

In one year's time, Crouse said, he's seen home security installations spike 50 percent.

"We're seeing a lot of people get systems now that didn't get them before," Crouse continued.

KHQ tried speaking to the victims but they were not immediately available for comment.

If you have any information about these crimes, call Crime Check at 509-465-2233.

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HOME INVASIONS: Q ANSWERS YOUR FACEBOOK QUESTIONS

KHQ received a lot of feedback about the home invasions on the KHQ Facebook page. We picked a few pertinent questions and did our best to answer them for you.

1.) Terri Fossum wrote, "When they say 'Home Invasion' does this mean that the people are opening their doors to people knocking, or are they like just breaking down their doors in the middle of the night?"

In most of these cases, KHQ found the burglars forced their way into homes in the middle of the night and often held them at gunpoint. In two cases, the intruders hit the victims with their guns and in another case, they shot a father in the leg while he was protecting his children.

2.) Donna Day Fleming wrote, "Could this possibly be in anyway connected to all the people in town from out of state going around to all the neighborhoods knocking on doors and offering "free" home security?"

Spokane Police spokesperson Jennifer DeRuwe said "It's too early to determine if these cases are related or if these crimes are evidence of a larger trend throughout the city." Right now, investigators said they do not have any information regarding motive or activity prior to the crimes.

3.) Marisa Warwick posted, "I would like to know the best ways to stay safe in a home-invasion situation." Warwick also asked about advice for those who are gun owners versus those who are not gun owners.

Local law enforcement advises homeowners to lock their doors and call 911 immediately if they see anyone suspicious on their door steps. If someone is home and a suspect breaks in, DeRuwe advised citizens to call 911 immediately and cooperate with suspect. DeRuwe was hesitant to speak specifically about gun rights but did say "People do have the right to protect themselves against harm."

If you have a question you'd like us to try and answer, head to the Facebook and search for KHQ Local News.

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