LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock Police say home burglary is on the rise. Investigators just recently named a family of suspects connected to four break-ins.
Herb Castilleja, 37, Delores Martinez, 39, and her son Leonard Martinez, 22, are charged with multiple counts of burglary of a habitation. Authorities say these suspects could be connected to many more crimes. "Well, these folks are known to us. We've been dealing with them off and on for many years," Lubbock Police Sergeant Mark Wims said.
Authorities found several stolen items at a home in the 1700 Block of 47th Street in Lubbock late last month. They tell us tips from the community led them to the location. "Called in, said they're back in business doing this sort of thing," Wims said.
Wims says they searched the home after officers noticed suspicious activity. "While one of them was watching the house he observed a transaction; there was a traffic stop made, stolen property recovered from that incident that led us to obtain a search warrant for the house," Wims said.
Authorities found stolen property from locations across the city, but the suspects fled before authorities could arrest them. Police suspect the trio is still in the city, though, and Wims says they're not alone. "The last several months we've seen a steady increase, percentage wise, over what we've had in the past couple of years," Wims said.
Just more than half-way through the year, and Lubbock has already seen 1,646 home burglaries. "All over town, every neighborhood has experienced it," Wims said.
In all of last year, police reported 2,750 home burglaries. So, we've already reached more than half that number. "Most of the ones we see have forced entry, and it's simply they'll go up to a house, knock on the door, ring the door bell. If they don't get an answer they'll come around back, jump the fence and kick in the door," Wims said.
Police don't attribute the rise in burglaries to any one cause, so what are the best ways to keep yourself from becoming a victim? And if you are hit, what's the best way to get your property back? We'll have those answerers tonight on NewsChannel 11 at 10.
In the meantime, if you know how to locate Herb Castilleja, 37, Delores Martinez, 39, or Leonard Martinez, 22, you're asked to call Crime Line. That number is (806) 741-1000, and you can remain anonymous.
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