NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Officers from Marin to Sonoma County are searching for armed and dangerous suspects following home invasion robberies that occurred in Petaluma early Monday morning.
Residents living in Novato's Wood Hollow neighborhood were asked to shelter-in-place earlier while officials searched for the suspects, but the order has since been lifted as they continue their search elsewhere.
The incidents occurred shortly after 3 a.m. at several homes on Eugenia Drive and officials believe the suspects are now 12 miles away near the Fireman's Fund Campus in Novato.
Sonoma County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Spencer Crum said they received a call of three different residential home invasion robberies. "When we arrived at the scene, we learned several suspects were armed with handguns, kicked in doors, tied up residents, pistol whipped a resident in search of marijuana."
Crum said no marijuana was located and that none of the victims were associated with marijuana sales or cultivation. "When they were leaving, Petaluma police noticed two vehicles leaving the area, they tried to a traffic stop on them, and then went on a vehicle pursuit," he said.
Petaluma police chased two suspect vehicles to Novato. Crum said at one point during the chase, the white mini van police were chasing stopped on the side of the freeway and five suspects jumped out, hopped a fence and then ran up into the hills. Police arrested one suspect, but four others are still on the run.
The suspect was arrested after going to a home and asking a resident to call Uber, but that resident called police instead.
The other suspect vehicle was spotted at Costco on Vintage Way where three people were arrested and one woman got away.
At this time, a total of four people are in custody and police are still searching for five suspects.
Police said they found firearms in the vehicles.
The sheriff's office says these people flew in from the East Coast to commit these crimes.
Police said they were in search of marijuana, but it turns out the homes they targeted were not growing marijuana at all.