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Armed men break into Duluth home, tie mother and son

Two men armed with handguns broke into a house on the 3400 block of East First Street in Duluth on Thursday morning, bound the wrists of a mother and her son and searched the home before fleeing into a nearby wooded area, police said.

Police went to the scene after getting a 911 call from the mother at 8:46 a.m. and began to search the area, but as of Thursday night no one had been apprehended, Duluth police said.

The suspects were described as white and wearing hooded sweatshirts, turtlenecks and sunglasses to cover their faces. They were last seen headed north from the home, which is close to a wooded creek.

Duluth police officers search a creek bed near East Fourth Street in the Congdon neighborhood while trying to locate the suspects who broke into a home in the 3400 block of East First Street in Duluth on Thursday. staff photo by Clint Austin

Details were not provided about how the woman and her son were able to free themselves or what happened to them while they were being held. Police said neither was injured.

The incident had neighbors stunned Thursday morning in the quiet Congdon neighborhood. Many who gathered said they were all close and had kids who played with each other, including the family whose home was invaded.

"It's unsettling," said a woman who lives near the family and asked not to be identified out of safety concerns, "but you have to go on."

Mary Haugen, who lives near the home that was invaded, said she was outside and on the phone when she heard voices and footsteps running through a creek. At the time, she didn't think much of it and kept talking on the phone. She now realizes it could have been the suspects.

"I could have helped ID them," Haugen said.

In a news release Thursday, police said they do not believe the incident was random.

"We believe that they went to that specific house, that they were there for a specific purpose," Deputy Police Chief John Beyer said. "If somebody thinks, 'Geez, are they going to come to my house next?' Probably not."

Beyer said he hoped to release more details today