Robberies lead to new initiative
The effort will include trying to identify homes of area drug dealers. The effort will include trying to identify homes of area drug dealers.
Published: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 12, 2010 at 10:44 p.m.
Two recent home invasion robberies in which a woman was killed and a man shot in the face have spurred Gainesville police to begin developing a new initiative aimed at enforcement and prevention.
Police said Tuesday at a tactical briefing to review crime for the previous week that the effort will include talking with apartment complex managers to try to identify units with residents who might be drug dealers.
Officers say most of Gainesville's home invasion robberies are drug-related.
"We have not had many home invasions the past two months, but the one we had last week resulted in a murder. How many of those can you bear? None," Capt. Ed Book said after the briefing. "The preventative angle ... is to say to managers: Identify for us apartments that you know you are having issues with potential dope dealing. Then we can try to ensure that nothing happens."
On Jan. 4, Stacey Brown, 20, of Gainesville, was shot once with a handgun during a home-<0x000A>invasion robbery in the Pine Ridge apartment complex at 5811 N.W. 23rd Terrace.
Brown was friends with the girlfriend of a man who lived there, Mannual Shaw, 21.
Shaw, who is alleged to have drawn a gun during the incident, was arrested for possession of a weapon by a convicted felon but is not considered a suspect in the shooting.
On Dec. 22, a 36-year-old UF doctoral student survived being shot twice during a suspected home invasion robbery.
The victim told police he had been home about 30 minutes when he heard a knock on the door.
When he answered the door, a man rushed in, robbed him of an undisclosed amount of cash and fired at him twice before leaving, police reported.
The victim dialed 911 from his cell phone.
Several GPD captains, including Book, were directed to develop a plan regarding home invasion robberies.
The plan is due next week.
Book said Tuesday it will focus on prevention and enforcement.
"You will see some enforcement angles. You will see some back-tracking on old cases, review of cases that are open, recontacting victims and witnesses," Book said.
"It is going to be comprehensive - review, prevention, education and enforcement," he said.
Book said that GPD in 2006-07 had a higher number of home invasion robberies than now but none involved a homicide.
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