CONTINUING COVERAGE: FLOODS OF 2016

HOME INVASIONS: Crimes ‘Aren’t Random’

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Des Moines has seen a spike in violent home invasions to start the year. But police say the crimes aren't random.

Monday night's home invasion at a house on Fremont Street in Des Moines makes 12 in the past two months. Last year there were just 11 home invasions in Des Moines.

Police say three people forced their way into the home. One was armed with a bb gun and one had a bat.  Investigators say the thieves stole about $300 cash and a video game system.

“One of the victims was struck in the head with a bat, with the ball bat, it took some stitches to repair that," Sergeant Jason Halifax said.

Police are looking into whether drugs played a role in the attack.  No one at the home wanted to talk with us.

Neighbors say they’re not surprised the house was targeted.

“All night long it never stops.  There are cars going in and out of there,” one neighbor said. “There's always the cops next door.  It's not surprising. Everyone knew this was coming."

Des Moines police say they don't believe the recent rash of home invasions is random and that often drugs are a common factor.  Neighbors say they just want it to stop before someone is hurt or killed.

"It's a fear of is this going to be my last day?  Or will it be one of my kids?  I'm scared for my kids’ life," another neighbor said.

Police say not all twelve home invasion cases we have seen so far this year are drug related.  But they say often the victims and suspects know each other and the attacks are not random.