Thursday, June 8, 2006
According to USA Today, Home invasions robberies are increasing in the West and Southwest.
In Houston, home-invasion robberies increased 25% last year to 448. Police Chief Harold Hurtt says the victims often are either drug dealers whose stashes are targeted or small-business owners known to carry home cash.
In Sacramento, home-invasion robberies are up 37% to 63 in the first five months of this year over the same period last year. "What happens, when one person does a certain type of crime and is successful, it filters through the criminal world," says Sacramento Sgt. Terrell Marshall. "That's what we're seeing with this home-invasion thing. When they get incarcerated, they're actually being educated on which crimes work and which crimes don't work.
In Hidalgo County, Texas, the sheriff's office created a special unit to investigate home-invasion robberies. Sheriff Guadalupe Trevino says criminals in the Rio Grande Valley county near the Mexican border often dress like SWAT officers and stage assaults on homes "where they believe drugs or drug money is being stashed. Sometimes they act on flawed information, which puts an innocent citizen in the line of fire." More. . . [Mark Godsey]