Lake Stevens Police were called to the home on the 1200 block of 84th Ave. SE on Sunday, April 25 shortly after 10 p.m. where a family had been tied up after five suspects entered their home under the guise of purchasing a television from the family.
“The family had posted a large flat screen TV on Craigslist,” Lake Stevens Police Chief Randy Celori said. “Two males came to the door posing to purchase the television.” When the homeowner opened the door both men brandished handguns and tied the man up with zip ties and covered him in a blanket. His wife was upstairs and was also tied up while their six-month old baby boy was in his crib.
The suspects then called three more suspects to join them. “One of the individuals called on his cell phone at which time three other individuals arrived (one of them a female) in a diesel type pick-up truck,” Celori said. “They took several pieces of jewelry, electronics equipment and approximately $5,000 in Iraqi currency that the homeowner had brought back after being stationed in Iraq.” Once the suspects fled the man was able to get his hands free from the zip ties.
“He was able to be freed and went to the neighbors and called 911,” Celori said. “The suspects were in the home for about 10 minutes. They were all unharmed.”
The Lake Stevens Police Department distributed fliers with sketches of two of the suspects to other police departments.
“We distributed our information to law enforcement agencies in Western Washington on Wednesday morning,” Celori said.
On Wednesday evening a home invasion occurred in Edgewater in Pierce County where the homeowner, James Sanders, 43, was shot and killed. Sanders’ 14-year-old son was allegedly pistol whipped by one of the suspects. The suspects, four of them, showed up after inquiring about an expensive ring the homeowner was selling on Craigslist.
“We are working in cooperation with Pierce County Sheriff’s Office following up on several leads. We are both confident that the incidents were both Craigslist related,” Celori said. “Our detectives are working closely with Pierce County detectives and the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab and I am hopeful that an arrest will be made soon.”
The police have also received a tip from Port Hadlock in Jefferson County where a similar incident may have occurred.
“We are still looking into that,” Celori said. If you have information regarding this matter please contact the Lake Stevens Police on their Tip Line at 425-377-3214, Detective Dennis Irwin at firstname.lastname@example.org or the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.