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Pierce County home invasion escalates to rape; suspect arrested with victims' valuables

TACOMA, Wash. — A home invasion turned into a rape in Pierce County early Tuesday morning, according to investigators, but sheriff’s deputies were able to track down the suspect and arrest him.

Prosecutors have since charged Jose Barragan with kidnapping, rape, robbery, burglary, and eluding police. According to court documents, Barragan broke into a couple’s home in a neighborhood just north of Tacoma by climbing in through a second-story balcony, then started looking for valuables.

“He clearly didn't know the two people in the home,” said Pierce County Sheriff’s Sgt. Darren Moss. “We don't know if he targeted them specifically or had been watching their house."

Ultimately, Barragan entered the master bedroom and woke up the husband and wife, who are 71 and 72 years old respectively and demanded to know where the safe was located, telling them “you’re being robbed, shut up, you’re being robbed,” according to court documents.

The husband was restrained and wasn’t able to move. Court documents indicate that Barragan then ordered the wife into another room, where he raped her on the floor. Barragan then stole jewelry, cell phones, car keys, and other items and left the home.

“When deputies got to the residence, they started taking a report, and they found out there was a way to track the cell phone,” Moss said. “When they did that it led them to a home in Parkland."

Undercover detectives went to the home and spotted a man matching the description given by the husband and wife. That man took off on a motorcycle, and when a patrol car activated its lights and tried to pull him over, the driver sped off, going up to 90 miles per hour.

“One of the things that we're very fortunate to have is a change in the pursuit laws because, before this year, the original effect would have been we did not have probable cause. We only had reasonable suspicion to think that that male matched the description,” Moss said. “Because of the law change, because we were able to use reasonable suspicion to chase someone for rape, burglary, robbery, kidnapping, we were able to follow him. He eventually pulled over where deputies took him into custody."

Detectives said they found the victim’s phone in Barragan’s pocket as well as some of the jewelry taken from the home. More items belonging to the couple were found at the home in Parkland, where deputies found Barragan initially.


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