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Thieves Police Officers Are Targeting Hispanics

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HOKE COUNTY — Almost one dozen men have been attacked in the past two weeks by thieves pretending to be police officers; the phony officers are targeting rural hispanic communities in Hoke and Robeson Counties.

All the evidence indicates it is the same three robbers working both counties. Now investigators in those two jurisdictions are working together trying to put an end to the crime spree.

Almontu Gonzales and his roommates were hanging out at home Friday night when several men came to their door.

Gonzales says three men knocked, and identified themselves as police.

The robbers, who were armed, said they needed to see some identification. When the victims took out their wallets, the robbers left with them, stealing several hundred dollars.

The victims in all of the robberies say each suspect was wearing camouflage, and carrying handcuffs and a flashlight, making the victims think they were undercover police officers.

"The description of the vehicle and suspects was basically the same," says Maj. Jimmy Maynor of the Robeson County Sheriff's Department.

"We've also found out that the wallet of one of the victims here was found over in Hoke County," Maynor says.

Once caught, the suspects will face felony charges. "You're looking at the fact that they kicked in the residence, they held them at gunpoint and robbed them," Maynor says, "so you're looking at several felony violations here in conjunction with the armed robbery."