HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - A rash of armed robberies in Huntsville has the Hispanic community fearful. In seven armed robberies reported since May 22 in a section of southwest Huntsville, all of the victims are Hispanic.
Hispanic advocates and police said they may be targeted because someone who is undocumented likely does not have a bank account, thus is more likely to have cash on hand, and because the thieves may think an undocumented immigr ant is afraid to involve police for fear of deportation
Sgt. Jonathan Ware of the Huntsville Police Department said that any otherwise law-abiding person in this country without legal immigr ant status is a member of the community that police are here to serve and protect.
"If you are the victim of a crime, we need you to call in and report it because otherwise, we don't know that it's going on. Before we're going to solve that crime, we're going to need the community's help. So we need strong partners in the community, no matter where they're from," Ware said.
The armed robberies have been reported the part of southwest Huntsville that includes Drake Avenue. Penny Street, McVay Street and Triana Boulevard.
Rosa Troussaint-Ortiz is a community service chaplain serving the Hispanic community. She said one family told her a perpetrator broke into their home and robbed them with their children there,
"With a gun on their head, children crying, some of the people have been robbed twice in one week. And this is just too much. And the whole thing I know is happening because they believe people are not going to say anything because they are afraid," Troussaint-Ortiz said. "If we don't say anything, this is going to continue escalating. And it can end up killing someone. I'm trying to do my best to protect our community."
Police want the Hispanic community to know there appears to be someone targeting them, to be aware and to avoid carrying cash on them. Also, anyone who is a victim is encouraged to report it to help police solve the crimes.
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