23 home invasion robberies targeting Latino families in Minneapolis under investigation

One man is charged and three other suspects are under investigation in connection to a series of 23 home invasion robberies in southeast Minneapolis targeting Latino families, according to Minneapolis police.

Minneapolis police spokesman John Elder says the suspects would target Latino families with children by going into their homes and using guns and knives to threaten the children's lives in order to get the parents to hand over cash and jewelry.

"We believe they targeted these individuals because the suspects believed they may be undocumented residents and therefore may not be utilizing financial institutions and may be less likely to report a crime," said Elder.

Robert Buckingham, a 33-year-old Minneapolis man, has been charged in connection to one burglary, during which he allegedly zip-tied a 14-year-old boy before robbing the home of an estimated $10,000. 

Elder says there's a high likelihood Buckingham has been involved in the "vast majority" of the other cases as well.

In one of the home invasions under investigation, Elder says the suspects threatened to kill a juvenile and forced them to burglarize a neighbor's home. He says the families are traumatized.

"As a parent, if someone threatens my life that’s a tough deal. If someone threatens my child’s life, that is a whole new level of terror," said Elder.

He says it's possible more than 23 home invasions have occurred. Police are urging other possible victims to come forward.