4 armed suspects on the loose after home invasion

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by Catherine Holland

Video report by Tess Rafols

Posted on October 16, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 29 at 8:30 AM

Map: 21st Place and McDowell Road

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PHOENIX – The search is on for four armed men who broke in to a Phoenix home and took the family inside hostage early Wednesday morning.

It happened just before 4:30 a.m.in the neighborhood of 21st Place and McDowell Road, just east of State Route 51.

According to police, the four suspects – all believed to be 18 and 25 years old – kicked in the door of the house as a 53-year-old woman, her 22-year-old daughter, and her 15-year-old nephew slept inside. The men reportedly were looking for money and drugs.

Police said the two of the suspects held the women and the teen at gunpoint in one room while the other two men ransacked the house.

One of the suspects reportedly tried to shoot the family’s dog.

"The dog was coming down the hallway. One of the suspects did fire at the dog," Phoenix Police Officer James Holmes explained. "According to the victims inside, they're not sure that it was actually a handgun. They did hear a, 'pop, pop, pop,' but they believe that it might have been a pellet-type weapon. We're fortunate there; the dog was not injured."

The 53-year-old woman was pistol-whipped. She was treated at the scene and is expected to be fine. The other woman and the teen were shaken, but not physically injured.

The suspects got away with a small amount of cash, a computer, cell phones and various personal items, as well as they keys to the victims’ home and car.

Police said the men did not take that vehicle, fleeing the scene on foot.

Officers are talking to the victims and their neighbors as they try to piece together this morning's events.

At this point, all investigators know about the suspects is that they are Hispanic males who were dressed in dark clothing. One of the men was wearing a bandanna.

Detectives said the victims told them they do not know the suspects. Investigators have not found anything that would suggest otherwise.

Police have not determined if the home was targeted or if this was a random incident.

If you have any information about the suspects or what happened Wednesday morning, please call the Phoenix Police Department at 602-262-6151.

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