UPDATED at 1:43 p.m.
Tacoma police are searching for three men who held seven members of a family at gunpoint and ransacked their Northeast Tacoma home overnight.
Officers reported that the suspects kicked in the front door of the house in the 3700 block of 50th Avenue Northeast sometime after 1:30 a.m. while the four adults and three children were sleeping.
Two of the suspects had semi-automatic handguns. One wore a mask. Another had the hood of his sweatshirt cinched up tight around his face, Tacoma police spokesman Mark Fulghum said. The family members didn’t get a good look at the third suspect.
The intruders rounded up members of the family – two men, two women, an 11-year-old girl, 8-year-old boy and 9-month-old – and brought them into the living room, police reported.
One of the victims grabbed a homemade machete but the suspects quickly took it away.
The suspects demanded the victims’ purses and cash. They knocked over a TV entertainment center and ransacked a couple of bedrooms as they searched for any hidden cash, police reported.
“They kept asking for money, but we don’t have (anything),” one resident told KIRO.
The suspects left in their vehicle after less than 10 minutes. Fulghum said they got “very little” in cash.
None of the family members were injured.
Investigators were looking into whether the robbers targeted the house for a specific reason.
“Obviously, they picked this house,” Fulghum said. “(But) based on fact that they got little money, we don’t know how much planning the suspects did.”
Detectives were looking into whether the intruders could be responsible for any other home-invasion robberies recently in Tacoma. They’ll also talk with the robbery detectives from surrounding law enforcement agencies at their monthly robbery meeting.
Earlier this month, two men busted into the South Tacoma home of a husband and wife, held them hostage for three hours at gunpoint and took their jewelry, electronics and cash meant for a family vacation.
The intruders wore blue bandanas over their faces and appeared to be communicating with someone outside the house during the May 10 heist. They were vaguely described as 20 to 30 years old and not Caucasian and not black.
Fulghum said detectives were comparing notes from the overnight robbery to the May 10 robbery.
“They are talking about it,” he said. “But it sounds like there are more differences than similarities.”