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Police: Smugglers Resorting to Desperate Escape Tactics

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Posted: Jul 14, 2014 7:39 PM

Updated: Jul 14, 2014 7:40 PM

WESLACO - The increase in patrols along the border may be driving criminals to resort to dangerous getaway tactics, police said.

The San Juan Police Department is on alert after a driver used spikes against Border Patrol agents.

Area law enforcement agencies found out about the spikes incident via an e-mail sent over the weekend.

"The e-mails go out to let us know about what's happening," San Juan Police Sgt. Rolando Garcia said.

Border Patrol agents were chasing a suspected human smuggler through the mid-Valley when the man threw out the spikes.

"This is something that's very easy for them to make. It is very easy for them to carry around. They can have a bag full of this stuff and just start tossing them out the window as they're driving," Garcia said.

The spikes, or caltrops, are made so that any way they land, a barb is sticking straight out.

"Once it's thrown out on the road, you can see that the needle is going to go into the tire and start deflating the tire," Garcia said.

Garcia believes they were used over the weekend out of desperation.

"It's getting more and more difficult for them to escape," Garcia said.

He said the surge of Texas Department of Public Safety troopers along the border is putting pressure on criminals.

Garcia believes smugglers are moving further away from known routes in Starr and western Hidalgo counties.

"The big push on the west side of the county is making everything come to our area, to the tri-city area as well as further east of us," Garcia said.

"The bad guys are always going to be using something," he said.

Topics: rio grande valley, border, patrol, dps, chase, spikes, road, caltrop, spike, police, rolando garcia, san juan

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