U.S. Border Patrol released video of a bandit robbing migrants in broad daylight as they attempt to illegally enter near Yuma, Arizona. Officials say the video captures an incident from July 7.
According to the Border Patrol, a camera operator captured the robbery west of Yuma along a riverbed. The unknown assailant purportedly brandished a pistol from his right hip pocket as he demanded the personal belongings of three migrants. Ultimately, he forced the migrant family to surrender a mobile phone and $1,000 pesos or $50 USD.
This is the second armed bandit filmed in the Yuma area in recent weeks. Last month, a similar robbery was recorded by an infrared camera. Such robberies are generally rare events on U.S. soil but have been increasing in frequency, according to Border Patrol.
Although the Border Patrol attempts to respond to such incidents, the remote scenes and the general increase in migrant traffic have made it difficult for agents to counteract the crimes.
The Border Patrol has received five reports of armed bandits in the Yuma area in July 2021. In this latest case, the bandit returned to Mexico and was not caught.
Armed bandits are not a new phenomenon at the southern border. They have proven themselves dangerous to migrants and law enforcement. In 2010, Border Patrol agent Brian A. Terry was gunned down near Rio Rico, Arizona, as he attempted to apprehend armed bandits.
During the current border surge–aside from the threat of robbery or worse from bandits–migrants face uncertain fates at the hands of cartel smugglers and environmentally inhospitable conditions throughout the American southwest.
Randy Clark is a 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as the Division Chief for Law Enforcement Operations, directing operations for nine Border Patrol Stations within the Del Rio, Texas, Sector. Follow him on Twitter @RandyClarkBBTX.