Gunmen dressed as police invade Sandy home

Published: Thursday, May 15 2014 9:05 a.m. MDT

Police are looking for two gunmen who dressed as police and forced their way into a home in Sandy

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SANDY — The search continued Thursday afternoon for two men dressed as law enforcers wanted in connection with a home invasion robbery.

Shortly after midnight, a man in an apartment near 700 East and 9140 South was awakened by someone knocking at his door, according to Sandy Police Sgt. Jon Arnold.

Two men outside the door identified themselves as police.

"(The victim) was going to open the door, but before he was able to open it, they kicked it open, booted it," Arnold said. "They immediately started physically assaulting him, put him on the ground, and put him in zip ties, yelling at him, punching him. He knew they weren't cops."

The alleged intruders were wearing windbreakers that said "police" across the chest, the victim told detectives. Arnold said the men also were wearing bandanas over their faces and knit caps on their heads so only their eyes were showing. He said it was something real officers would never do.

"You don't go to the door with a mask as an officer. That's not an appropriate way to do things," Arnold said.

One man had an assault rifle, the other a handgun, police said. As they were allegedly beating the victim, Arnold said they asked for specific items.

"He said he didn't have anything at his apartment," Arnold said.

As the men were going through the apartment, they found the victim's girlfriend in a back room. They were bringing her back to the front of the apartment, apparently frustrated they couldn't find what they were after, when the male victim ran out.

"He didn't run until they were coming back at him, and he realized he had an open door behind him," Arnold said.

The man ran out and began yelling loudly, alerting his neighbors. The two intruders ran out the door too, but then took off in the opposite direction, police said.

The woman was not injured, Arnold said. The two men ran off with the male victim's cellphone, he said.

Crimes like this are not random, Arnold said.

"Usually when there's a home invasion, you're going in there for a purpose," he said. "This was organized. They wanted to go to this house for a specific reason."

As detectives work their investigation, Arnold said they would be questioning the victims, both in their 20s, about their friends and acquaintances.

"Of the things (the intruders) were asking for, who would know about those things? Who would be the nexus to tie that to you?" he said.

Arnold said police had been called to the apartment in the past, but not for any event that would obviously be connected to the home invasion.

A few weeks ago, the SWAT team was called to the apartment for a "barricaded and suicidal" person call. The suspect in that case was the victim in Thursday's home invasion. No one was injured in the previous incident.

Email: wevans@deseretnews.com, preavy@deseretnews.com, Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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