GARDEN GROVE (CBSLA.com) — Police Thursday possibly linked two additional Orange County home-invasion robberies to three suspects who disguised themselves as deliverymen during the crimes.
“It appears there may be four crimes this crew may be responsible for,” Lt. Ben Stauffer said.
Officials believe the unidentified suspects may be part of a criminal group or gang responsible for a series of home-invasion robberies in Garden Grove since May 16, two of which were committed this week.
“Once a resident opens the door, then they force way in, draw weapons and take over the residents of the home and zip-tie them,” Stauffer said.
On Monday, suspects robbed a home in the 13500 block of Morello Street, police said.
The men entered the gated complex through the open garage door of a south-end unit while holding a large bunch of balloons, police said.
Once inside of the home, the suspects demanded valuables from three adults and two children who they zip-tied and pushed into a closet.
“The robbery can easily develop into violence just by the least little bit of resistance while inside,” Stauffer said. “Or maybe something occurs that the suspects weren’t counting on and they react violently to it; it’s a very highly dangerous situation.”
Two days later, the suspects were caught on surveillance targeting a residence in the 8500 block of Hewitt Place.
Three teenagers were home alone at the time and heard a knock at the front door, where they encountered two suspects holding flowers claiming they had a delivery for their mother, authorities said.
The suspects then forced the teens into a bathroom at gunpoint. Images were caught on a home surveillance camera showing the suspects wearing black clothing, jackets and gloves, which police say they wear to avoid leaving fingerprints.
Investigators believe the two crimes are linked to two home invasions that took place in May, including one on May 23 when a 29-year-old was shot in the neck while holding her twin baby girls. Two other family members were found tied up in the home on West Street.
“They again forced their way in and immediately shot a female victim inside,” Stauffer said.
Investigators say certain families may be targeted because all the victims have been Asian, but police are asking all Garden Grove residents to be careful and not open their doors if they don’t know who’s on the other side.