COLUMBIA — Two men suspected of breaking into a Columbia woman's home early Thursday morning escaped a police search on foot, said Columbia police.
Police responded to reports of a suspicious person ringing doorbells in the 1600 block of Fox Run Drive at 2:27 a.m, Sgt. Tim Moriarity said. A 26-year-old woman called to report someone trying to enter the back door of her house. She had locked herself in the bathroom when the police arrived.
The two suspects ran from the house into a nearby wooded area as police chased them, Moriarity said. Believing the suspects were still in the woods, the police set up a perimeter and used a canine unit, a hand-held Forward Looking Infrared viewer. Police then used the Columbia Fire Department's thermal imaging camera to search the area when the infrared viewer's batteries died.
A news release on the incident said the technology was used because the canine was tired from work earlier in the evening and because of the large area needing to be searched.
The police searched for about two hours, but concluded that the suspects had escaped the area before the perimeter was set.
Police have identified the suspects as males, approximately 5'9" in height and weighing 150 to 160 pounds, wearing flannel jackets and stocking caps. One is believed to wear glasses and be unshaven. The incident is still under investigation, Moriarity said.