Similar home invasions reported in Shelby Co. and Bessemer

BESSEMER, Ala. (WIAT) — Investigators are searching for a suspect or suspects from two home invasions and robberies in Shelby County and Bessemer over the weekend.

Detectives haven’t confirmed whether the two crimes are connected, but they appear to have a lot in common.

Investigators tell us the Bessemer home invasion happened on Maple Street Southeast which has houses in close proximity. They say the suspect forced his way into the house around midnight on Nov. 22 and tied up the elderly victim’s hands and feet then got away with valuables.

The Shelby County robbery scene on River Road is in a very rural area outside the Helena city limits off County Road 13.

Investigators say the victims, a middle aged couple, were restrained on Nov. 23 around 7:50 p.m. by a robber who got away with jewelry and cash.

In both cases investigators say the suspect reportedly wore a mask and gloves and was reportedly armed with a handgun.

In the Shelby County case the description of the suspect was a male, possibly in his twenties, weighing approximately 150 pounds, between 5’4″ and 5’6″ inches tall.

Deputies say the homeowners reported that he was wearing blue latex gloves and a long sleeve black “hoodie-style” sweatshirt.

In the Bessemer case the suspect is described as a male, thin build, believed to be in his twenties, between 5’5″ and 5’8″. The suspect was reportedly wearing a black ski mask, black clothes and black gloves.

Deputies say the suspect in the Shelby County case told the homeowners his name was Keith and spoke on a two-way radio during the robbery.

“We don’t know anything right now. Possibility is obviously that somebody was outside the house. The victims only saw one person. The thought is maybe somebody was in a car, getaway car, that he may have been talking to, but it was a very brief conversation and he only spoke one time,” said  Lt. Jeff Sciascia, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

Not far from the intersection with River Road, Cliff Jordan says he and several of his neighbors along County Road 13 have been robbed in previous years.

“Fourteen times. I’ve gotten robbed fourteen times in fourteen years,” said Jordan.

Jordan says the rural location and sporadic patrols seems to invite criminal activity. He says he’s never been home when anyone kicked in his door, but now he’s retired so he’s home a lot.

“I carry a gun. If I pull up on my driveway, (and) somebody’s on my property ain’t supposed to be here, we got trouble, bad trouble,” said Jordan.

Lt. Sciascia says a four door- newer model Silver Dodge Ram pickup truck was spotted in the River Road area shortly before the robbery.

Detectives are asking anyone who might have seen that truck or anyone with information about the case to call the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office at 205-669-4181 or through the Secret Witness line at (205) 669-9116.

Tips can also be reported on by clicking on the “Report Criminal Activity” link and choosing the “General Information” category, according to investigators.

People with information about the Bessemer case are encouraged to call the Bessemer Police Department at (205) 425-2411 or the Tip Line at (205) 428-3541.

Copyright 2014 WIAT 42 News

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