A repeat felon has pleaded guilty to several violent home invasion burglaries last year that targeted Latino families in Minneapolis.
Robert E. Buckingham, 33, of Minneapolis, entered his plea Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court to three counts of first-degree burglary.
The County Attorney’s Office said the plea agreement calls for Buckingham to serve a term topping 15 years. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, he will serve the first 10 years in prison and the balance on supervised release. He remains jailed ahead of sentencing on March 16.
According to the criminal complaints:
On June 2, Buckingham entered through the front door of a home in the 2700 block of S. 12th Avenue, threatened people inside with a handgun and stole money.
At the same residence on Aug. 11, he zip-tied a teenager at knife-point, ransacked the home and stole about $10,000 in cash. Video surveillance showed Buckingham walking outside the home and driving off.
On June 26, Buckingham broke into a home at the 2700 block of S. 15th Avenue and punched a man in the face while pointing a handgun at him. Buckingham fled before police arrived but was later identified by investigators in surveillance video.
A search of Buckingham’s home turned up clothing he was seen wearing in the Aug. 11 video and slightly more than $10,000 in cash.
Police say they continue to investigate the roles of three possible accomplices in the burglaries, which targeted up to 23 homes in south Minneapolis. As of Thursday afternoon, but no additional arrests have been made, nor have any more related crimes been reported.
Latino families with children, some as young as 9 months old, were targeted by intruders who wielded knives and guns while demanding money. In many instances, the victims were forced at gunpoint to a room or closet.
Police have previously said the victims may have been targeted because some are in the country illegally and possess large amounts of cash because they don’t use banks.
Buckingham’s criminal record includes convictions for first-degree burglary in three cases and a conviction for fifth-degree assault.