COLUMBIA – Police say they think three recent armed robberies, two home invasions and one commercial robbery, could be connected. One of the home invasions occurred Monday.
The first was a home invasion on April 19 at 707 Old Plank Road, where the suspects entered the residence armed with rifles and threatened to shoot the victims.
A news release said it was possible they robbed the wrong house, because the suspects repeatedly called the victims by the wrong names. Electronics and an undisclosed amount of cash were taken from the home.
The second incident occurred at Domino's Pizza, 1621 Towne Drive, on Saturday. A victim was confronted outside the building and told to get on the ground. The victim had no cash and the suspects fled. No property was stolen.
The third incident and second home invasion occurred at 3700 Bent Oak on Monday. Four armed suspects entered a home and demanded money from the victims.
The suspects stole electronics, an undisclosed amount of cash, jewelry and a car, which was found abandoned in a northeast Columbia neighborhood.
One of the victims was struck in the head with the butt of a rifle multiple times and refused medical attention. A media release stated this robbery appeared to be random.
According to the release, the suspects in all three incidents were men in their late teens to early 20s, wearing similar clothing and armed with "a long gun," either rifles or shotguns.
The aggressive behavior has increased with each robbery, the most recent leaving the only injured victim.
Police declined to return phone calls regarding why they think these incidents to be connected.
Anyone with any information regarding the robberies should contact the Major Crimes Unit at 874-7423 or CrimeStoppers at 875-8477. Tips can also be submitted online at 875tips.com.