Rash of Joliet Home Invasions Linked, Not Random: Police

Residents tied, taped up while thugs make off with money, belongings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBCChicago.com

    A crew of gun-toting bandits have busted into four houses in seven nights, tying and taping up the people inside before making off with their money and belongings.

    This past week the thugs struck twice in Crest Hill and twice in Joliet, hitting houses on Nicholson Street, Arbor Lane, Third Avenue and Bellarmine Drive, the Joliet Herald-News reported.

    "On two of the cases, they duct taped the victims and subsequently ransacked -- not the whole house -- but only a certain area of the house.  They definitely had an idea of what they were looking for when they went in these residences," said Deputy Chief Michael Trafton.

    Some witnesses have been less than cooperative with authorities, they said. 

    "In one of the incidents, we had some trouble with with cooperation.  One of the other instances involved juveniles," said Joliet Police Cmdr. Benjamin Billups.

    Police said they are looking for as many as four people.  Some of them have been heard calling each other by their nicknames:

    "Twan" stands between 5-feet, 5-inches and five-feet, 8-inches tall with dreadlocks...
    "Shorty" stands about 5-feet, 5-inches tall and also had dreadlocks...
    "Young" is taller, standing between 5-feet, 9-inches and 5-feet, 11-inches and also has dreadlocks...
    A fourth person, whose name was not used, stands between 5-feet, 9-inches and 5-feet, 11-inches and is bald.

    Trafton said detectives from his department are working with investigators from Crest Hill to find a link between the targets of the home invasions.

    "All these crimes are very similar in nature,” Trafton said.

    "The victims were targeted, so it's not like a random act where somebody's out there running rampantly breaking into houses and robbing people," added Billups.