Suspects impersonating maintenance men arrested in Independence - KCTV5 News

Suspects impersonating maintenance men arrested in Independence after attempted armed burglaries

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Emily Rittman/KCTV5 Emily Rittman/KCTV5

Two different families say armed men tried to trick them into opening their front doors to rob them. 

Investigators say the suspects even faked needing help to try to force their way inside.

Just before noon, a woman living in an apartment complex off East 5th Street in Independence heard a knock. 

The victim's relative, who requested to conceal her identity for safety, said her family member looked out of her peephole.

"She was panicking," she said. "She said someone had knocked on her door and said it was the maintenance people."

The victim saw two guys at her door with a shotgun, according to the relative. 

She rushed to get several children to a back bedroom and called police. The suspects took off before police could find them.

Just a day later, a second couple heard a knock at their door. There, a man opened the door to help them and the suspects responded by pistol-whipping him. 

Police say the man used his body to shut the door to keep the suspects out. At one point during the struggle, the barrel of a shotgun was shut in the door frame as the woman called 911.

Wesley Strotheide and a juvenile suspect were captured by police. They were wearing the same clothes that the victims described running away from the victims' apartment complex, according to police. 

Court records show officers brought the suspects to the victims who positively identified them as the two people trying to force their way into their apartment. 

The victims called 911 and gave dispatchers a description of the suspects. Police found them and arrested them after they say they tried to run and hide.

Strotheide has been charged with attempted burglary and armed criminal action. 

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