Tucson sees an increase in home invasions

TUCSON (KVOA) – The number of home invasions has increased.

Detectives from the Counter Narcotics Alliance unit said the cases are becoming increasingly violent. News 4 Tucson Investigators are investigating the cause and impact on the community.

Home invasions unfortunately do not involve traditional victims, CNA detectives, most victims are involved in illegal activities, and many law-abiding Tucson residents are caught in a wave of violent attacks.

“They happen a lot more than is reported,” said Tucson Police Department Det. Oscar Cuellar.

He is assigned to the Narcotics and Violent Crime Division at the CNA. An interagency drug task force investigating home invasions.

“It looks like most of our home invasions are done with tougher drugs like cocaine, the biggest thing being the fentanyl pills,” he said.

Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is mixed into pills that look like prescription opioids and kill people.

In 2020, more than 400 people died from drug overdoses in Pima County. That is 32 percent more than in the previous year.

Cuellar also said they saw more violence.

Just a week ago, a man who lives in a neighborhood in the south was beaten and kidnapped shortly after 4 a.m.

“According to witness statements, we had three people who were intact vests and assault rifles,” said Cuellar.

There was a woman in the house.

“Holding her at gunpoint and taking her car keys and phone,” said Cuellar.

The vehicle with the three suspects ended up at a rural metro fire station in Belvedere.

“Three people in this vehicle were shot,” said Cuellar.

The fire brigade provided help, two were transported to the hospital, the third suspect died.

Cuellar said both were charged with murder, kidnapping, robbery, aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. The victim was later found and badly beaten.

Jose Alexis Aguirre Tirado went from hospital to Pima County Jail. The other suspect stayed in the hospital.

The detective said Jose Manuel Lopez died from gunshot wounds.

TPD Capt. John Leavitt is the commandant of the CNA.

“Home invasions are a threat to everyone, even if they hit the wrong house,” he said.

In April, surveillance cameras caught four people breaking into the wrong home.

The mother of an 11-year-old girl who was staying in the apartment spoke to News 4 Tucson on the phone. For her safety and her family, she asked that we not identify her.

“The guy in the red was holding my daughter at gunpoint,” she said. “I hope someone helps find it.”

News 4 Tucson viewers identified Francisco Ramos as one of the four suspects. He remains behind bars under a $ 50,000 bond. The other three are still pending.

“It’s a danger,” said the victim’s mother. “It’s just a danger to leave these people out there.”

Det. Cuellar added that most home invasions are because of drugs, cash, or weapons.

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