Des Moines Police say they investigated 14 home invasions in all of 2013. Less than a month into the new year, and the number already stands at eight.
Stephen Hamilton, a victim in a home invasion Sunday night brought a knife to a gun fight and lived to tell about it.
“I heard a bunch of racket from upstairs and I came down and saw that someone was beating on one of the girls,” said Hamilton.
The man beating on one of Hamilton’s female roommates broke into this home on the 2100 of 13th Street in Des Moines while his accomplice watched the door.
Three female victims say the man pistol whipped each one of them and demanded money.
One of the victims was 29-year-old Sheri Slayden.
“He started asking about money and it was just so stupid. By that time he was on me and asked me who I was,” said Slayden.
Slayden says she was fighting with one of the suspects when Hamilton came into the living room armed with two knives.
“Steve is a hero. He came down ninja style,” said Slayden.
Hamilton fought the man, stabbing him in the neck before he backed away towards the door.
Slayden says she was looking down the barrel of a gun.
“He started waving the gun around like he was going to pop off on Steve. Steve and I were both ducking. Then he took off,” said Slayden.
One of the female victims told police she thought the suspect looked familiar and may have been a friend of her ex-boyfriend, but didn’t know why he would try to break in.
Des Moines police say home invasions are rarely random.
“Typically they are targeted to the house, based on knowledge they have of the house. It may be because of cash or narcotics. They typically know the people who live in the house and when they’ll be home,” said Sgt. Jason Halifax of the Des Moines Police Department.
Slayden says she’s not afraid the suspects will come back after leaving empty handed and wounded.
“You could tell they were new and didn’t know what they were doing. If they had done their homework, they would have realized, not today sir, not today,” Slayden told Channel 13 News.
As to why the victims may have been targeted, police say they did find drug paraphernalia in the home but didn’t arrest anyone inside.
Police may be close to finding one of their suspects.
An officer observed a Hispanic male who matched the suspect’s description being treated for a head wound at Mercy Hospital.
He wasn’t arrested, but police did collect DNA evidence and are comparing it to blood found at the scene.