GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - They beat them, tied them up, stole their laptops and televisions and, before they left, sexually assaulted a woman in the house.
Just before dawn Monday morning some college students living in a Grand Rapids rental home on Veto Street NW. say they were awakened by four to five armed intruders.
"Bound them, struck them in the head with maybe a pistol and then sexually assaulted a female in the house," says Captain James Hertel of the Grand Rapids Police Department.
"They were pretty bruised up," says neighbor John Pietrzyk. "The were pretty messed up."
Police still aren't sure if the criminals broke in to steal things or to take turns sexually assaulting the woman inside.
"We've been working on the motivation behind this crime," says Captain Hertel. "Why that house was picked and what they did. Yes, it's an armed robbery, but our major focus is the horrible sexual assault."
"There are a lot of gang members in the neighborhood who aren't working," points out resident Jason Bynum. "Of course they are trying to make quick money and they see college kids from out of town. I think they scoped them out and realized these guys might make good targets."
Police say the suspects are black males. One is about 6'2' tall and skinny, another has a shaved head. Descriptions are a little vague.
"They were wearing hoodies and bandanas over their faces," explains Captain Hertel.
Detectives are hoping someone with information will call in a tip. Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call Silent Observer at (616) 774-2345.
By Phil Dawson