Online gamers help nab suspect in home invasion

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TEMPE, AZ (KPHO) — Police said a worldwide online gaming audience witnessed a home invasion in Tempe on Monday morning and one participant aided in the quick capture of one of two armed men.

KPHO-TV reports that the men forced their way into an apartment near West Grove Parkway and Priest Drive where a woman was playing an online game about 5:10 a.m., said Tempe Police Lt. Mike Pooley.

Some of the online gamers tried to contact police as they watched the incident unfold, and a friend of the victim who was online was able to tell police where she lived, Pooley said.

Police found one suspect still in the apartment and started to question him when he ran. He was captured after short foot pursuit, Pooley said.

The remaining suspect was believed to be in a vacant apartment. He was described as Hispanic, 5’10” to 6′ tall, with scruffy facial hair and wearing a gray shirt, black pants and red-soled shirts.

Police Sgt. Steve Carbajal said police couldn’t confirm that weapons might have been taken from the residence but that the suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.

The occupant was not harmed, Carbajal said.

Carbajal said police believed the suspect was contained within a police perimeter and that a canine search was under way while police waited for a Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office helicopter.

Carbajal said anyone with information about the suspect or the home invasion should call 911. He stressed people should not approach the suspect.

No other information was immediately available.

By Steve Stout

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