A neighbor’s complaint about bumping noises in a downstairs apartment led Fort Wayne Police to catch a suspect in a home invasion and robbery Tuesday night.
That suspect, Lewis J. Jones, 40, now faces eight felony charges related to his alleged role in robbing people in a home in the 1200 block of Swinney Avenue. He is preliminarily charged with burglary resulting in injury, a Class A felony; armed robbery, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and criminal confinement, all Class B felonies; battery committed by means of a deadly weapon or resulting in serious bodily injury and carrying a handgun without a license while having a prior felony conviction, both Class C felonies; and criminal recklessness while armed with a deadly weapon and theft, both Class D felonies.
Police were sent to the 1200 block of Swinney Avenue at about 9:20 p.m. Tuesday to investigate a “disturbance.” A man had called police because he couldn’t figure out what was causing the bumping he heard from a downstairs apartment.
As the first officer on the scene arrived, he saw two men running from the home. He chased them and caught one, later identified as Jones, nearby. That Jones weighs 350 pounds, according to court records, may have made him less able to elude the officer than the other suspect, who was described as black, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with a slender build, wearing a baggy, black coat, black jeans and white shoes. As Jones was held for questioning, other officers interviewed the people in the apartment.
Three people told him they had been victims of a particularly frightening robbery. A woman in the home said she heard two loud booms, then two men broke into the home. One was armed with two guns, the other with a single gun.
The men demanded that the man in the home tell them where his money and drugs were. That man said he didn’t have any, and Jones allegedly hit him in the head with a firearm. The intruders found the man’s nephew hiding behind a fish tank, then ordered the woman to tie up the man and his nephew. Jones then allegedly tied up the woman.
The victims said that the robbers found the man’s rent money in his pocket and took it, along with his cell phone. They took cash from the woman, as well as her identification, a debit card and a cell phone. According to investigators, Jones also took a stack of Playstation games as he left the home.
After he was taken into custody and questioned, police reported, Jones told them that he drove two other men to the house but that he remained in the vehicle while they were inside.