Early Wednesday morning two separate families on the 26200 block of road 164 in Visalia were victims of a home invasion.
At about 4:45 am, several masked gunmen wearing camouflage clothing, gloves and tactical style vests with firearms arrived at two separate residences. The armed suspects had arrived in two vehicles and broke into each residence simultaneously yelling out "SWAT" in Spanish and English. In one house there were seven victims, three of them were bound at the hands by the suspects. The ages of the victims ranged from 7 to 48 years. In the second house there were four victims and their ages ranged from 18 months to 23 years.
The victims were held at gun-point while each home was ransacked. The suspects seized cell-phones as a means to prevent them from calling law enforcement. The suspects were on scene for approximately 45 minutes. In addition to the cell-phones, they stole a 43" flat screen television, Mig Welder, an unloaded rifle in a blue case, miscellaneous jewelry, a small amount of cash, four sets of vehicle ignition keys and about one pound of processed marijuana. The estimated loss was valued at more than $4,000.00.
There were no injuries to the victims, and the suspects did not shoot their firearms. The suspects fled in their vehicles southbound on Road 164 to an unknown location. Immediately after the suspects left, one adult victim went outside and fired a weapon repeatedly into the ground to gain the attention of nearby neighbors, so they would call 911 since they did not have any phones.
At about 0554 hours, a neighbor heard the gunshots and called 911. Patrol deputies from the sheriff's department were dispatched to the scene. A short time later, detectives from the department assumed the investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call the Sheriff's Office at 800-808-0488.