Dozens of residents in four South Plains counties feel safer and have a sense of justice Tuesday night. This follows Tuesday's arrests of three men who authorities suspect are behind a series of burglaries in Lubbock, Lynn, Hockley, and Hale Counties.
Authorities had not released the names of the suspects Tuesday night, pending charges. We can tell you the suspects are all men in their early to mid-20's. "These guys were operating pretty freely. They thought they had a pretty foolproof plan, apparently," Lubbock County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Paul Scarborough said.
Tuesday's arrests came after another reported home burglary in Lubbock County, but this one was different. "These individuals had been targeting residences in broad daylight where they believed the residences were not occupied at the time. This particular case, there was somebody in the house," Scarborough said.
The victim alerted authorities around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday with a description of the suspects and their car. The Lubbock County Sheriff's Office dispatched units immediately.
From the victim's account, investigators already suspected the men could be responsible for approximately 35 burglaries already reported in Lubbock and neighboring counties. The burglars stole more than $50,000 worth of property. A large concern for investigators though, the suspects took more than 30 firearms. "With any luck will be able to recover some of it," Scarborough said.
A joint report by the U.S. Treasury and the U.S. Department of Justice says the exact percentage of crimes committed with stolen guns is not known. However, several states have done studies, and their reports suggest as many as half used stolen or illegally purchased firearms in their crimes.
Now, Lubbock investigators must determine how many crimes they can connect their suspects to. "It's like anything else, time was on our side, and if they keep it up we'll catch them. We got lucky today (Tuesday), but we had a lot of good help," Scarborough said.
Scarborough says eight other agencies assisted in the arrests.
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