This story out of Nevada notes that a group of suspects targeted elderly people.
In three reported incidents in May, as many as four suspects were involved in the armed forcible entry and burglary of the homes. At least one of the people who has been arrested had known the occupants since childhood.
These particular incidents incorporated aspects of classic home invasion: forced entry by two or more intruders, use of weapons during the incident, violent contact with the home occupants, and theft of property. Two people have been arrested and charged.
Home Invasion News notes that, along with more traditional charges (Armed Robbery with a Deadly Weapon, Battery with a Deadly Weapon, Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Conspiracy, Possession of a Short Barrel Shotgun and Ex-Felon Possession Firearm), the suspect has been charged with Home Invasion, a separate and specific crime under Nevada law.
It happened in Sacramento, California, too. In this case, police are fairly certain that the most recent incident involving a 91-year old man is related to six previous home invasions of the elderly, all occuring within a single month.
The common approach occurs when one man wearing a hard hat and dressed in apparent municipal work clothing approaches the elderly homeowner, saying work is needed to repair a water leak, remove a bees’ nest, etc. Meanwhile, several other intruders ransack the house. It appears that the victims, all living alone, were scoped out before the incidents by a gang of three or more people.
Police and city official organizations say they will rarely, if ever, arrive at a house unannounced to check things out.
“Seniors were born in a different era. They were born when their handshake was their word of honor,” said Wendy O’Neal, the daughter whose parents were embezzled of $500,000 by a family caregiver. “The more we talk to them, the more they’re going to realize to be aware of what’s happening.”