Victims of home invasion targeted by mistake

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by Brian Farrell

WVEC.com

Posted on October 16, 2012 at 11:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 17 at 7:35 AM

NEWPORT NEWS -- 3 people stripped away a husband and wife's feeling of security October 9.

The group burst into the couple's house on Center Street at about 2:30 a.m. in a home invasion that police believe was meant for the house next to the couple's.

"The front door got kicked in, and I got woke up, and the guys were yelling, 'NNPD!' I was, like, trying to figure out what was going on. By that time, they were in our room," said the husband who asked his name not be used. "Basically, held us at gunpoint, asking for drugs and money."

Newport News officers said the group of 3 intended to rob Alastair Higgs who lived in a rental property next to the victims' home. Police told 13News Higgs had Ecstasy at the house and marijuana. Besides drug charges, he faces a count of Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon. Higgs' girlfriend, Tenai Hodges, also faces a drug charge.

"It could happen to anybody," Detective Charles Howser said of the situation. "It  could happen to someone who is unsuspecting, someone who didn't know their neighbor was involved in some kind of illegal activity that brought this to their doorstep."

Howser explained the victims and many of the people around them were unaware Higgs may have a connection to drugs.

"I've seen drug dealers' houses where there's hardly any activity. They don't bring people to their place of residence. It's hard to tell. Rental vehicles, out-of-state vehicles, heavy traffic, obviously, large, vicious dogs is another thing that we look for," said Howser, offering a checklist of items that could indicate drug or other criminal activity.

Anyone who knows anything about the group involved in the home invasion is encouraged to contact Newport News Police Department through the Crime Line. The number is 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.

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