In following up on a news item from what appears to be an Austin, Texas, TV station which was mentioned at the Ol' Remus' "Woodpile Report", about a home invasion by men dressed as SWAT. Searching under "home invasion" gave me a handful of stories from just the last month about home invasions by large groups of men.
First, the original story I was following, dated February 10, 2013:
Ten armed men stormed into a home early Sunday morning demanding money and drugs.A double barrel shotgun or seven-round magazine wouldn't have worked in that situation.
The home invasion happened at a home in Edinburg around 1:30 a.m.
According to Edinburg Police, the gunmen demanded money and drugs.
An eyewitness told Action 4 News that the suspects were dressed in black shirts that said “S.W.A.T.” on the front.
They were also wearing white ski masks and one man had on a clown mask.
A man living at the home was hit in the head with an RK gun.
Authorities said another woman was hit in the face with another gun.
The suspects took televisions, cell phones, car keys and wallets from the home.
Second, this story from February 20, 2013:
Police are searching for three armed suspects after a home invasion in a San Juan neighborhood.A double-barrel shotgun? Natch! 7-round magazine? Not if you missed a couple times or had to shoot a couple of the suspects multiple times. (Remember the recent story of the woman who unloaded a revolver into a burglar, and he still was ambulatory).
On Tuesday around 9 p.m., authorities responded to a home on 207 Washingtonian St., after a group of men stormed a home demanding money.
Sgt. Rolando Garza with the San Juan Police Dept. says, after ransacking the home, the suspects fled the scene before police could arrive.
"One of the victims had a bump on his cheek where he was pistol whipped," said Sgt. Garza. "We're looking for at least three males, all armed with weapons from a shotgun to pistols."
The getaway vehicle is described as a silver or gray Nissan Altima or Sentra, between the model years of 2004-2006.
The suspects are considered armed and dangerous.
Third, this story from February 7, 2013:
Authorities are asking for help in finding a group of armed men wanted for a home invasion that took place in the city's westside.A January 22, 2013 report:
It all happened at a home off the 1600 block of West Ventura Avenue around 9 p.m. Wednesday.
Pharr police told Action 4 News that five to six armed men stormed the hoem demanding cash.
Investigators said the men all had masks on their faces as they displayed weapons during the whole incident.
The suspects then left in a grey or silver Lincoln Navigator in an unknown direction.
A total of 7 people arrested.These are all from one news station in one metropolitan area over just a few weeks.
Francisco Ibarra, Auner Hernandez, Ignacio Berrones, Daniel Flores, Merari Hernandez, Jackie Rocha and Pedro Martinez, all linked to one crime--aggravated robbery.
“In one instance they shot the door and kicked it down, in another instance two of the home occupants were injured by gunfire..so these folks mean business but maybe the publicity and hear about these arrest, maybe they’ll put up their guns, nonetheless we are not going to stop,” Hidalgo County Sherriff Lupe Trevino said.
The men are equipped with high caliber weapons disguising themselves with hockey masks.
They are not just targeting businesses they’re also targeting homes.
Sherriff Trevino said usually its bad guys on bad guys but in recent cases he’s noticed that there is no connection between the victim and the suspects.
The increase in aggravated robberies, has Sheriff Trevino pulling 12 to 15 lawmen from the Gang unit, SWAT unit, and the regular Patrol unit.
All have been chosen to a part of an armed robbery task force.
Trevino said they are the best of the best.
Results have been positive but they didn't meet all of their objectives
“The part that we didn’t accomplish is that we have yet to link these 7 people to the 2 home invasion...we actually think they are two separate groups driving a similar vehicle,” he said.
He said the armed robbery unit is still intact and says they will continue to do their job to bring crime down.
The 7 men caught in the aggravated robberies are linked to the Firebird Icehouse drive-thru in Donna and JR's Mini Mart in Weslaco.