First Degree Burglary On The Rise - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

First Degree Burglary On The Rise

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By: Claire Powell


The Des Moines Police Department is dealing with a string of first degree burglaries.

These burglaries are different and more severe than the burglaries during Christmas and Thanksgiving of 2013. This time the homeowners are confronted by the suspects who are armed and in some cases, assault the homeowners.

Last year, the total of first degree burglaries was eleven. In the first two weeks of 2014, there have been seven.

"We don't usually see it as a random act, we see it as an effort for something specific," said Sergeant Jason Halifax, Des Moines Police Department.

On Friday, January 10, there were three burglaries, one involving a 15-year-old that had a machete held to his face. On Tuesday night, two burglaries happened within hours of each other.

The break-in on East Lelund Avenue was more severe.  

Two victims came home to a man in their drive way shouting to hand over drugs and money.

One victim ran to a neighbors to call police.

The other, a 22-year-old woman, ran into the home where she was confronted by two more suspects. The suspects handcuffed her and hit her in the head with a gun.

They had torn open couch cushions and walls in every room.

"The victims indicated they'd only been in there for a month, so it's a possibility that the prior tenant to the residence was involved in illegal activity," said Sgt. Halifax. "Obviously any type of burglary is a concern to us, but given the fact that there was the assault and the handcuffing, it make sit more concerning."

People in the Easter Lake neighborhood couldn't believe it.

"I hate that that happened. They're new folks to the neighborhood. They're obviously not going to feel too good about it, but hopefully this will pass," said a neighbor who didn't want to be identified.

When we spoke to the victim's son, he said they had spent the last month remodeling and rebuilding the house. Now, it's torn apart and the family is shaken.

"They've done a lot of work down around that place cleaning it up and the neighborhood appreciates it. We don't want them going anywhere yet!" said the neighbor.

"We are investigating these cases, making arrests on these cases and making progress on most of them when we're getting cooperation from the victims," said Sgt. Halifax.

Police said they don't believe the cases are connected and they have issued some warrants for the suspects arrest. 

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