Men in tactical gear impersonate officers, storm Gwinnett apartment, police say

1 arrested, 2 at large after alleged home invasion in December

A man and his son were zip-tied and robbed at gunpoint in December in their Gwinnett County apartment by three men dressed in tactical gear who claimed to be federal agents searching for drugs and cash, authorities said.

Nearly two months later, one suspect has been arrested and charged with impersonating an officer, among several other felony counts, Gwinnett police announced Wednesday. The two other suspects remain at large.

Luis Soto, 54, of Lawrenceville, was arrested last week on counts of home invasion and impersonating a public official, as well as two counts each of kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and armed robbery. He was booked into the Gwinnett jail Jan. 25 and remains there without bond.

Soto and two others are accused of storming an apartment on Herrington Road near Lawrenceville on Dec. 6. The victim told police the suspects grabbed him as he returned home and forced their way inside, then zip-tied him and his son.

A police badge and tactical gear found at a property associated with Luis Soto, who was accused of impersonating an officer during an armed home invasion and robbery in Lawrenceville, according to Gwinnett County police. Jan. 31, 2024 (Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department)

Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

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Credit: Gwinnett County Police Department

The suspects told the victims they were federal agents and had been watching them for months, police said. The heavily armed men wore black tactical gear with masks and black stocking caps with “POLICE” on the front. Authorities said they demanded money and drugs, then stole about $3,000 worth of sneakers and jewelry. The victims were able to struggle free and call 911 after the men left.

Soto was identified “through a series of investigative methods,” police said. He was arrested after officers conducted a felony traffic stop Jan. 25. Officers then executed a search warrant at a property linked to Soto and said they found tactical vests, police badges, ammunition and shoes that belonged to the robbery victim.

Investigators are still working to identify the other two suspects, and the investigation remains active.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gwinnett detectives at 770-513-5300. To remain anonymous, tipsters may contact Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS (8477) or visit Tipsters can receive a cash reward for information leading to an arrest and indictment in the case.