JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — The Lane County Sheriffs Office is searching for five people accused of invading a home west of Junction City.
Tuesday afternoon, a man bleeding from his head arrived at the Junction City Police Department, claiming four men and one woman went to his home, claiming to be from the Eugene Police Department serving a search warrant.
The suspects are described as four white men, and a white female. The suspects were reportedly armed with rifles, wearing ballistic vests that with the word "police" on them, and they were wearing what law enforcement described as ski masks.
Lane County Sheriff's Office sergeant Tom Speldrich says one of the men reportedly had a police badge hanging from his neck. "These were not real police officers serving a warrant... Often times, items can be made available to the general public under the premise of novelty items, or perhaps they’re just counterfeit items and they are purchasable."
Sergeant Speldrich confirmed there were four people in the home during the invasion, but only one man was hit over the head with a rifle and tied with zip ties. Investigators believe the suspects intended to rob the home, but say they left without stealing anything.
He says the location is concerning. "Certainly, we are ways away from the metro area," Speldrich said. "There’s quite a few people that live out here, but it’s very rural, and whether or not this was targeted. We’re trying to figure that out. Although, we have our suspicion that it was, we don’t know for sure yet. We’re still trying to put together those pieces on the backend."
When being served with a search warrant, Sergeant Sheldrich says there are ways to confirm whether it’s a legitimate agency.
"Your local police officers generally don’t wear masks when they perform search warrants just for reasons just like this, and if you have any question that it’s a real police officer you’re dealing with or group of real police officers, call 9-1-1. If there are marked police vehicles there, if there are clearly real uniforms on police officers, have real identification and they’re not wearing masks. Use your reasonable mind, and do your best to tell the difference," he said.
The victim has not been identified, but is in good condition, as his injuries were not serious.
It's believed the suspects were driving a gray Jeep Gladiator pickup, a white sedan and a silver sedan. The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is being asked to contact the Lane County Sheriffs Office, 541-682-4150 opt.1.