Police: Wheeling resident hampering home invasion investigation

A Wheeling resident is deliberately hampering a police investigation into a home invasion at his apartment, authorities said.

Neither the 19-year-old victim nor two friends who were with him at the time of the crime are cooperating with police, frustrating investigators, Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Joseph Licari said.

"(They) actually signed a refusal to cooperate and prosecute form," he said.

The victims appear to have lied about details of the crime, too, Licari said.

The home invasion occurred Thursday afternoon in an apartment in the 400 block of Allen Court.

The primary victim was hanging out with two friends and a female guest he met on a social media site, as well as a female friend of hers, Licari said.

At one point, the female guests left the apartment, but soon returned with five men armed with firearms who tied up the victims and hit them, police said.

The female guests participated in the home invasion, Licari said. They likely acted as ruses to gain access to the apartment, he said.

The intruders stole clothing, a video game system, cellphones and computers.

After the thieves fled, the victims freed themselves and called 911 from a phone that hadn't been stolen, police said.

None of the victims had any visible injuries, police said.

The victims and offenders may have known each other, Licari said, and police don't think the robbery was a random act.

The resident regularly posts photographs on social media of his expensive clothes, shoes and other belongings, Licari said.

But without honest and complete statements from the victims, investigators aren't getting very far, he added.

"Without cooperation, it kind of ties our hands," Licari said.

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