Hall County Sheriff's officers are stepping up patrols around the Athens Street neighborhood east of Gainesville after two home invasions this week where residents were tied up and robbed at gunpoint.
In both instances, three black men broke into the homes, ordered the homeowners to lie on the floor, tied their hands, told the homeowners not to look and then stole cash and electronics. No one was injured in either case.
Hall County deputies and Criminal Investigations Division officers are looking for any tips from residents.
"Right now, it's an active investigation and we don't have any specific suspects," spokesman Col. Jeff Strickland said. "The uniformed patrol division is increasing its presence, specifically on Floyd Road."
On Tuesday night, three men entered a home on Calvary Drive, tied up a 28-year-old man and took a laptop, cell phone and video game. The men, described as being of average height and weight, escaped in a white four-door sedan. The homeowner said two men wore their hair in dreadlocks.
At 4:30 Friday morning, three men entered a home on Azelea Lane off Floyd Road and tied up a 35-year-old man and a 23-year-old woman. A 4-year-old and 4-month-old were in the home at the time and were sleeping.
The men stole cash, cell phones, a video game and a 1991 Caprice Classic, which they abandoned several blocks away on Brown Street. In this incident, the men wore masks.
Gainesville Police Department officers are also looking for the three men. Three teens were charged with burglary early Friday morning after they broke into a home on Dunlap Landing and stole jewelry, electronic equipment and cash. Residents weren't home at the time.
"We do not currently believe that the home invasions and the burglaries are related. Our criminal investigations divisions work closely to tie certain subjects and crimes together," Gainesville officer Kevin Holbrook said.
"It is very important that we work closely with surrounding agencies to share specific criminal intelligence, especially in the case we were able to solve earlier in the week on the entering auto thieves. During the course of the investigation we were able to determine that the subjects committed crimes all over Hall County and then worked with those agencies to file charges."
As the holiday season approaches, crime generally take an upturn, especially during tough economic times, Holbrook said.
"Be sure to lock your doors and call police if you see anyone suspicious in your neighborhood, especially if they approach your house," Strickland added. "We can always send a deputy out."