Police now believe they have identified the suspects behind a series of armed hold-ups in the Village Seven area.
Previously, police had released vague descriptions of the suspects seen roaming a northeast Colorado Springs neighborhood trying to rob people at gunpoint. Twice within seven days two men accosted pedestrians in the Village Seven neighborhood, first striking on April 11 and then again on April 18.
Late Tuesday night, the suspects struck for the third time, robbing a 20-year-old at gunpoint on Academy and Carefree. The suspects got away with numerous personal items and cash, but the victim managed to get a license plate number as the suspects sped away. Officers later located the vehicle at a nearby liquor store. The vehicle has been collected for evidence.
Police say Wednesday that the occupants associated with the vehicle, a white Chevy Caprice, were positively identified in connection to the armed robbery Tuesday night, and possibly additional crimes. Arrests have not yet been made.
Residents in the area spoke with 11 News about the series of armed robberies in the area.
"It's kind of scary, disappointing," Anna Hodges, a longtime Village Seven resident, said. If she'd been watching at the right time, Hodges might have seen a stickup from her front window.
Someone did see what happened at South Carefree Circle and Avondale Drive on April 11. At about 10 p.m. that night, two men pulled a gun on a 19-year-old who was walking his bike. The men ran off when they were seen by a passing driver.
"It makes me think we're going to keep our eyes open and be more careful," Hodges said.
The second attempt happened a few blocks away on North Carefree Circle near Picturesque Circle. Police say a 41-year-old man was walking home from work on April 18. He was met by two men only a short distance from where Austin Eli works every day.
"I would never do that,” she said. “Not in this neighborhood. Absolutely not."
In both cases there were two men involved in the holdup. At least one of them carried a gun. On April 18 the man walking home from work refused to cooperate and started swinging his backpack at the men and they ran off. Police dispatched a K9 officer to the scene and report they found some evidence linked to the suspects.
Eli told 11 News both incidents remind her to stay vigilant at all times. “I have a concealed carry permit,” she said. “I keep my door locked."
She also steers clear of the neighborhood streets after dark.
Police had previously released descriptions of the suspects indicating they could be black men 20-30 years of age. They wore dark-colored hoodies and have slim builds. Police are not releasing the names of the men they believe are connected to these robberies at this time.
Anyone with information about these cases is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP.