SALEM - Police are investigating an armed robbery early Thursday by three masked men with handguns at an East Pershing Street home, where similar incidents involving hammers occurred in June and last December.
"I don't believe this was a random act," Detective Dave Talbert said.
The latest incident occurred at 1:47 a.m. at 760 E. Pershing St. where three armed men reportedly forced their way into the residence and ordered the five people inside to the floor at gunpoint. They removed cash and personal property before leaving.
No injuries were reported. The people inside the home were two women and three men. One of the women was believed to be living there, with the others visiting.
Talbert said the only descriptions they had were that all three perpetrators wore masks, had handguns and it was believed that they were all men.
When asked if the incident was drug-related, Salem Police Chief J.T. Panezott said, "We believe it is."
Anyone with information should call the police department at 330-337-7811.
In June, police were called to the home and found a resident, Dewey Souers, bleeding from the head. He said he was struck by an unknown assailant. According to police, a similar incident was reported on Dec. 29 as a burglary in progress. Souers and another victim had reported that two unknown people forced entry into the residence and demanded money and other items of value before assaulting them with hammers.
Souers was not there during the latest incident. The investigation into the first two incidents remains ongoing.
When asked if the cases are all related, Talbert said he couldn't comment on whether this latest incident was related to the other two incidents.