NOVATO, Calif. - Authorities said at least nine suspects busted into three homes in Petaluma early Monday morning, kicking in doors with guns and asking for marijuana prompting an intense manhunt for at least five of them, the Sonoma County sheriff's said.
The home-invasion robberies were reported about 3 a.m. on the 100 and 200 blocks of Eugenia Drive, the sheriff said in a news release. Officials added later that none of the houses on the block were not known grow houses and that the suspects likely had bad information.
At least one homeowner reported being tied up and being pistol whipped, the sheriff said.
Two suspect vehicles were spotted leaving the area and they didn't stop, the sheriff said.
One of the suspect vehicles, a white rented minivan stopped on southbound U.S. Highway 101 by the San Marin exit. Authorities found multiple firearms inside. Five suspects fled from the minivan and an intense manhut was concentrated at the Fireman's Fund in Novato at 777 San Marin Drive. Video showed armed officers in camouflage exiting tactical vehicles with an arsenal of weaponry.
One of those suspects was arrested, but four remain outstanding, the sheriff said.
SWAT tactical teams concluded their search of the area around 12:45 p.m. Monday and the shelter in place order for Wood Hollow Drive and neighboring streets was lifted. Novato police said they believed the suspects were no longer in the area.
The second vehicle was found in the Novato Costco parking lot where three suspects were taken into custody and one female suspect remains outstanding, according to Sonoma County Sheriff's Lt. Greg Miller.
Police called the suspects "armed and dangerous."
Novato police told the public to avoid Redwood Blvd at Wood Hollow Drive, San Marin Drive at West Campus Drive and East Campus Drive.
SMART's San Marin station was closed temporarily because of the suspect search.