Minneapolis police have identified a suspect behind a series of home invasions earlier this year on the city’s South Side that authorities say mostly targeted Latino families with small children.
The 22-year-old man is said to be part of a crew of armed suspects that broke into six homes between May 19 and June 2, threatening to kill or kidnap any children present — some of whom were as young as infants — if residents didn’t give them money, police said. The residences struck were in the 3300 block of S. 5th Avenue, 2200 block of S. Elliot Avenue, 2600 block of S. 13th Avenue and 2700 block of S. 12th Avenue, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Hennepin County District Court earlier this week.
Each time, police said, the residents had their cellphones stolen, destroyed or were forced to turn them off during the robbery. One more than one occasion, victims were forced into closets or rooms against their will, under threat of violence. Sometimes the crimes were carried out by a group of suspects; other times, victims told police they were confronted by a single man.
In one episode on May 21, a suspect broke into an apartment in the 2200 block of Elliot, threatening its occupant with a knife and forcing the resident to help him burglarize at least two other apartments; all the while, the suspect threatened to kill the resident, while repeatedly punching him or her in the head, according to the affidavit.
Eight days later, a suspect allegedly entered a residence and held a knife to the throat of two infants under the age of two, demanding money.
The suspect, who police regard as a prominent Low End gang member, isn’t in custody and has not so far been charged in any robberies, according to online court records.
The man first came under suspicion after his fingerprints were lifted by investigators from a window in one of the homes, the affidavit said. He was later brought in for questioning, but denied having visited any home on the South Side since his release from prison on April 22, according to police.