Sonoma County sheriff’s SWAT unit late Monday morning continued checking homes and searching the hills west of Highway 101 in Novato for five “armed and dangerous” suspects behind multiple marijuana-related home invasions in Petaluma.

At least three homes on the 100 and 200 blocks of Eugenia Drive in Petaluma were targeted in armed home invasions around 3 a.m., said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Spencer Crum.

The suspects kicked down doors, demanding marijuana. But there was no marijuana at the homes and no other property was taken, Crum said. One homeowner was tied up and pistol whipped.

Petaluma police spotted two vehicles leaving the area and a pursuit ensued, Crum said.

A white rental minivan pulled over on the southbound shoulder of Highway 101 by the San Marin exit and five men fled from the vehicle, he said. One was caught and taken into custody.

Three people were arrested when the second vehicle was found in a Costco parking lot in Novato, Crum said. One person, also considered “armed and dangerous,” got away and remains at large.

Residents in northwest Novato neighborhoods were told to shelter in place. Law enforcement officers were doing property searches on residential streets leading up into the Novato hills.

Mid morning there was no police activity in the rural Petaluma neighborhood.

The homes targeted are on a small private drive of about a half dozen residences off Bodega Avenue, just outside of town. Eugenia Drive sits between an artist’s studio and an antique shop.

The suspects apparently parked by the antique shop, walked down nearby Petersen Lane and kicked down a fence to get onto property and to the homes.

A landowner has asked the media to stay off the property.

This article will be updated. Check back.

You can reach Staff Writer Nick Rahaim at 707-521-5203 or nick.rahaim@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @nrahaim.