Posted: Jan 29, 2013 7:17 PM
Updated: Jan 29, 2013 7:46 PM
EDINBURG - Home invasions are becoming an alarming trend in Hidalgo County, officials said.
Hidalgo County Sheriff's Department officials said home invasions increased 126 percent from 2011 to 2012. Three were reported in just one week, they said.
"I'm alarmed, and I don't mind telling you. I'm concerned the numbers spiked the way they did," Hidalgo County Sheriff Lupe Trevino said.
"Any time you use force, especially deadly force, to deprive someone of their property, that's an aggravated robbery," Trevino said.
Trevino said home invasions were typically crimes against criminals. The targets now are innocent residents, he said.
The three recent cases highlight those differences, Trevino said. A home invasion near Donna was a targeted attack. The suspects stormed a house looking for a man. They found the man and murdered him, officials said.
The two other cases were random home invasions. Gunmen targeted two homes just a mile apart near Mercedes. Sheriff's investigators said the suspects held a family at gunpoint while they searched for money. The men fled with some electronics and cash. No one was hurt in that case. The same men are suspected in the second case where two victims were shot.
Investigators have yet to solve those cases, officials said.
"My job is to safeguard people in this county," Trevino said.
Trevino assigned 22 deputies to a new task force to solve those cases.
Officials said 43 home invasions happened in the county in 2012. There were 19 in 2007, they said.