Rohnert Park police search for 4 suspects in armed home invasion

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Police are searching for four armed men and women suspected of swarming a man’s Rohnert Park apartment Tuesday night and claiming his roommate owed them money before threatening to kill the resident if he didn’t open a safe in the home, the Rohnert Park Department of Public Safety said.

The suspects, two men and two women, made off with an undisclosed amount of cash from the safe, as well as the man’s wallet, cellphone and watch within minutes of entering the unit at the Crossbrook Apartments on Enterprise Drive, Rohnert Park Deputy Chief Aaron Johnson said. The group ran through a nearby parking lot and drove away in a black sedan, possibly a Hyundai, a security guard who works at the complex near the SMART station told police, Johnson said.

The victim, who was bloodied and hiding behind a car when police arrived about 11 p.m., was sent to the hospital with injuries including cuts to his head and face after the incident, Johnson said. Police learned of the home invasion after a neighbor reported hearing what sounded like a fight, he added.

The victim, whom the department did not identify given the violent nature of the crime, told officers he was attacked by the group when he heard a knock on his door, looked through the peephole and saw a woman on the porch who he mistook for a neighbor, Johnson said. The woman, another female, and two men wearing ski masks and hooded sweatshirts then ran into the home, each armed with guns, Johnson said.

“They struck him with a firearm, pistol-whipped him,” Johnson said. “He went down to the ground and one of the males hit him a few times.”

The two women held the resident at gunpoint while one of the men ransacked the apartment.

The suspects told the resident that his roommate owned them money, though the resident told the assailants the roommate was in jail.

One of the masked men then found a safe in a bedroom and pointed his firearm at the victim.

The suspect threated to kill the resident if he did not open the safe, the department said. The victim complied, and the suspects took money from the safe. Johnson declined to share how much money was stolen.

Before leaving, the group also took the victim’s wallet, cellphone and watch. The security guard could not provide officers with the group’s direction of travel, Johnson said.

Investigators continued their investigation Wednesday by searching for surveillance footage that may show the suspects, Johnson said. A set of fingerprints lifted from a cellphone found at the scene will be analyzed and hopefully provide investigators with a lead to their suspects, he added. Police also planned to talk to the victim’s roommate, who was also not identified by police. Johnson could not immediately provide information about why the man was in jail.

“Hopefully we get some sort of match or when we’re able to talk to the roommate, he might be able to give us an idea of whether he owed somebody money or something like that,” Johnson said.

Johnson said police did not know whether the home invasion was drug-related, as has been the case in prior home invasions in the city.

“If it was, these guys are going to be hesitant to talk about it,” Johnson said, referring to the victim and his roommate. “Our detectives are still working that angle, of course.”

You can reach Staff Writer Nashelly Chavez at 707-521-5203 or nashelly.chavez@pressdemocrat.com.

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