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Violent robber in Minneapolis targeted Latinos, police say

The 33-year-old robber singled out Latino families, believing they might be undocumented immigrants who keep cash at home and are hesitant to call police.

A violent home-invasion robber targeted Latinos in Minneapolis, believing they might be undocumented immigrants who keep large sums of cash in their households rather than use banks, authorities said Thursday.

Robert Buckingham, 33, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree burglary earlier this week, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement on Thursday.

The Minneapolis man is scheduled to be sentenced on March 16, and faces up to 15 years and four months behind bars, according to prosecutors.

Robert Earl Buckingham.
Robert Earl Buckingham.Hennepin County Sheriff's Office

Buckingham singled out Latino families, thinking they might be undocumented immigrants who don't use banks and are hesitant to call police, according to a search warrant cited by NBC affiliate KARE.

In one attack on Aug. 11, Buckingham broke into a home, "zip-tied a teenager at knife point, ransacked the home and stole an estimated $10,000 in cash," according to prosecutors.

He had been at that same home before, on June 2, when he "threatened people inside with a handgun and took money from the home," prosecutors said.

Between the dates of those attacks on that one residence, Buckingham on June 26 broke into another home and "punched a man in the face while pointing a handgun at him," according to prosecutors.