Four suspects are behind bars after an early morning home invasion Saturday, in Los Angeles’ Lincoln Heights, didn’t quite turn out as planned, even after two of the suspects attempted to elude authorities by pretending to be victims themselves.
A local ABC affiliate reported that it was around 1:30 a.m. when the three residents became aware of the suspects’ ill intentions after seeing them on the home’s surveillance videos. One suspect was armed with a shotgun and it is believed that the other three were also armed with handguns, although it’s unclear if the firearms were even loaded.
The residents immediately called 911 when they saw the suspects on the video.
The suspects then forced their way into the home, but two of the residents, who were in the basement at the time of the break-in, were able to escape from the home without being noticed. One resident was unable to make his way out of the home and became wrapped up in the several hour-long incident.
As police began to engulf the area, one of the suspects was almost immediately caught when he ran out of the front door and another was later found by K-9 units hiding in the backyard. The other two suspects remained inside the house with the resident and the incident turned from a home invasion to a 2 ½ hour hostage situation.
According to Lt. Andy Neiman of the LAPD, the victim somehow convinced the two suspects that they should walk outside of the home with the resident, pretending to be victims as well. The suspects apparently thought that that was a good idea, but were unable to outsmart the officers.
“The victim walked out of the house with the two suspects in trail, pretending that they were victims as well. The police didn’t fall for that,” Neiman told reporters.
All three “victims” were taken into custody and authorities determined who was who and what exactly had transpired.
Meanwhile, as police continued to investigate the incident, area residents were evacuated from their homes and sent to local high school to wait for permission to return to their homes.
Officers found the suspects’ firearms at the scene and all four suspects are facing home invasion, robbery and kidnapping charges.
None of the residents were injured and the incident remains under investigation. It’s unclear if the residents were acquainted with the suspects or whether the suspects were involved in other area break-ins. Police do believe that burglary was the primary motive in the home invasion.