Investigating Home Invasions
The series of home invasions may be related. The victims of both break-ins gave similar descriptions of the suspects and, in both cases, the suspects were armed when they broke into the homes.
Police say home invasions are rare in Columbia, yet two have happened in the past four days.
"Having two in such a short span makes our department suspicious that maybe the same perpetrators are involved in both incidences," said Sgt. Ken Hammond, Columbia Police Department, Major Crimes.
The invasion early Tuesday morning took place in the 3500 block of Churchill Drive, where a young couple and their two children live. Police say the father was assaulted and suffered minor head injuries. The suspects kicked open the front door and robbed the family of money and other belongings. Neighbors are still in shock.
"They're not even safe in their own home? It's bad enough as it is when somebody breaks in and steal things, you feel violated. But they had handguns, so that's really frightening," said Debbie Koyn, neighbor.
On Saturday night, a similar break-in occurred in the 1500 block of Timber Creek Drive. The victims were not able to be reached and have not been seen since their house was broken into. One neighbor says she wonders why they haven't returned to get any of their things.
"It's just strange that they haven't been here since then, I assume that they're not coming back, but their front porch hasn't changed at all," said neighbor Rachel Goldenhersh.
The victims of Tuesday's invasion made security improvements to their house, including the repair of their front door. Police say the investigation is ongoing. If you have any tips about either of the two cases, the police would like to hear from you. Call Crime Stoppers at 573-875-TIPS.