Edinburg, Texas - U.S. Border Patrol agents of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas sector along with state and local law enforcement agencies have experienced an increase in the use of homemade spikes by smugglers.
In 2009 law enforcement authorities in the Rio Grande Valley witnessed a significant increase in the use of homemade spikes by smugglers attempting to evade arrest. In most cases smugglers deploy the spikes in order to disable law enforcement vehicles while they are in pursuit.
Although none of the spiking incidents have resulted in injuries, the spikes present a serious danger not only to the lives of the officers, but the public in general. Spikes have also been pre-deployed on avenues and areas commonly used by the smugglers in an attempt to immobilize responding law enforcement vehicles.
Because smugglers have deployed these spikes on public roadways endangering innocent motorists, law enforcement authorities in the area have partnered together to ask the public for their help. If anyone has information regarding the manufacture and or deployment of these spikes, they are urged to contact the Hidalgo County Crime Stoppers at (956) 668-TIPS. The public should be reminded that all calls are confidential and callers will remain anonymous.
In 2009, 15 incidents involving spikes resulted in damage to 33 vehicles of which 13 were civilian vehicles. This is an increase from one incident in 2008. To date there have been four incidents in calendar year 2010.