Police are searching for four armed robbery suspects who eluded capture on Friday evening after a massive standoff at a Rahway apartment building .
On Friday afternoon, police SWAT teams responded to a call from a woman who said she was robbed by four armed men, who authorities believed had hidden in the building.
Roadblocks shut down access as armored vehicles and heavily armed law enforcement officials filled the intersection of Irving and West Main streets as SWAT units and officers from several jurisdictions surrounded a four-story apartment building near the Union County Performing Arts Center, around 5:30 p.m.
About an hour and a half later, police used a battering ram to break down the door of an apartment at 197 Main Street, throwing in a flash grenade before entering, but they did not find the people they were looking for.
Witnesses said eight to nine tenants of the building were escorted out but the search of the premises turned up nothing. Police with guns drawn hunted for the suspects at nightfall, searching neighborhood backyards and the banks of the nearby Rahway River, which runs along the back of the home.
After several hours, it was apparent that the bandits has gotten away.
Several neighbors told CBS News they watched as police tried to communicate with the suspects.
“They pulled the bullhorn out, nice and loud. I was able to hear it,” said Kevin Caldwell. “They told people, ‘if you’re in there, come out with your hands up.’”
“It was so crazy, and this like never happens, never happens here. This is stuff I’ve seen like in movies,” said Ny’Asia Hamilton. “I was anxious, nervous. I didn’t know what was happening.”
The incident is under investigation and anyone with information may contact the Rahway Police Department TIPS Line anonymously at 732-388-1553 or talk to Detective Kevin Wronski by calling 732-827-2048.
The incident has left many Rahway residents concerned about their safety. The scene of the stand off was within a block of some horrific mysteries.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office said it is still seeking the two gunmen involved in the killing of 21-year-old sneaker store owner Jamal “Mally” Gaines, a Rahway native who was fatally shot inside the Irving Street boutique sneaker shop he co-owned, on Feb. 26, 2016.
Family members hold out hope for justice in the unsolved killing of a 24-year-old Jennea Workman, whose body was found at her Cambridge Court apartment in May 2009.
On Friday, Oct. 15, 1999, 84-year-old Helen Smith’s body was found by police in the detached garage of her Campbell Street house. Investigators believe her killer may never be caught.
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