Police target criminals targeting Latinos - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Police target criminals targeting Latinos

Memphis police are trying to curb a growing problem, robberies targeting Latino victims, who often don't speak English and are scared of police.

Just tonight, we learned that a Latino man robbed and shot Tuesday at 3445 Barclay, died from his injuries.

Already this summer, twenty-two arrests have been made in thirty-two cases where Latinos have been victimized.

59 year-old Santiago Gomez was just getting home from work when he was robbed and shot.

He lived long enough to give police a description of the shooters.

Tonight, police say they may be the same people targeting Latinos in that neighborhood over and over again.

Santiago Gomez was just getting home when two men met him in this parking lot at gunpoint.

They took his wallet and his cell phone and they shot him. His nephew - Manuel Sanchez - was with him when he died. "Somebody come and tried to robber him, and they shot him in his stomach."

Gomez was the fourth Latino robbery victim in this apartment complex this month.

He was the first to die.

"Ostensibly, the suspects didn't think that they could speak English," said Memphis Police spokesman Sgt. Vince Higgins.

Robberies targeting Latinos are a new problem for Memphis Police.

The victims and witnesses are trapped behind a language barrier and, in some cases, fear of deportation if they come forward.

Manuel Sanchez says he was robbed here himself twice. "They know that most of the Latino peoples on the weekend like a Friday and the Saturday, they get paid. So they have cash money in the pocket," he said.

Police say these apartment complexes - where most residents are Latino - are targeted. That's why Sanchez is moving out. "I would like to say to all the people to move out of this place, because this is happening so often," he said.

Police say the M.O. In these cases is very similar and they are desperate for information. If you have any - they want you to call Crimestoppers at 528-cash or 553-7029 for a spanish speaking officer.

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