EAST TEXAS (KLTV) - Two East Texas law enforcement agencies are now looking into whether or not a pair of very similar home invasions are connected. The robberies occurred within 24 hours of one another.
The Rusk County and Gregg County Sheriffs Offices are investigating separate home invasions where the suspects allegedly wore all-black "ninja style" clothing.
The first robbery happened Monday night at a home near Leverett's Chapel in Rusk County. On Tuesday night, a home invasion was reported near Highway 259 north of Longview.
In both cases, the couples who lived at the homes were tied up.
"We have very little or no physical evidence whatsoever. They appeared to be disciplined, they appeared to have a plan. [They were] very methodical in the way they acted," says Rusk County Sheriff Jeff Price.
Once investigators began comparing notes, some glaring similarities began to emerge from the two home invasions.
"They were methodical in trying to conceal themselves and trying not to leave trace evidence behind," Price says.
In both break-ins, only cash and jewelry were taken. Expensive items were ignored.
"They went for the items that are going to be the hardest to trace," Price says.
Both targeted areas were secluded and quiet and in both break-ins, three suspects were wearing what's described as ninja clothing.
"Three individuals, they entered the house in black clothing, all armed," says Gregg County Sheriffs Office Lieutenant Kirk Haddix.
"Solid black clothing with a black hood, black gloves, black shoes," says Price.
In each case, they bound one victim , and had the other lead them to valuables.
"[They] took them through the house to show them where the specific items they were looking for in the home. Our investigators and the Gregg County investigators are getting together and comparing the two instances to determine if this is the same group or not," says Price.
And in both cases, they vanished without a trace.
"Whether there might be another subject involved that came and picked them up, we don't know," Price says.
Both Gregg County and Rusk County Sheriffs Offices say the Texas Rangers have been called in to investigate the home invasions.