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Minneapolis man pleads guilty in 3 burglaries

Prosecutors believe he returned to the same home twice, the second time zip-tying a teenager and stealing about $10,000 in cash.
Credit: Hennepin County Sheriff's Office
Robert Earl Buckingham

A Minneapolis man has pleaded guilty in three different burglaries that happened last summer.

The Hennepin County Attorney's Office says Robert Buckingham, 33, pleaded guilty on Feb. 3 to three counts of first-degree burglary. Sentencing will take place March 16, and he is expected to serve a total of 15 years, 4 months in prison.

Court documents say Buckingham entered a residence through the front door on June 2, 2019, threatening people inside with a handgun, and taking money. That home was on the 2700 block of 12th Avenue South.

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Then on Aug. 11, 2019, prosecutors say Buckingham returned to the same home, zip-tied a teenager at knife point, ransacked the home and stole an estimated $10,000 in cash. Video surveillance showed him walking inside and then driving away, according to the criminal complaint.

Another criminal complaint alleges that Buckingham broke into another home on the 2700 block of 15th Avenue South and punched a man in the face while pointing a gun at him, then fled before police arrived.

A search warrant was executed on Buckingham's home and investigators recovered clothing he was seen wearing in the Aug. 11 video and just over $10,000 in cash, according to Hennepin County.

Phone records also put Buckingham in the same area during the June burglaries, according to the complaint.

In a search warrant related to the Aug. 11 case, an investigator said the crime was very similar to nearly two dozen others that targeted Hispanic families with children. Police said they believed Buckingham was targeting homes of undocumented families, as those victims are more likely to keep cash on hand instead of using banks. They may also be less likely to call police.