May 21, 2012 9:08 PM
TUCSON - 25 illegal immigrants were found trying to cross the border in car trunks last month.
Mario Escalante with the Tucson Sector Border Patrol, says this recent spike is worrisome.
"This weekend alone we had another two incidents that involved an additional 3 migrants."
According to him, this tactic has become popular after the Border Patrol tightened its reins on smugglers. The rising temperature makes this method extremely risky.
"Some of these migrants aren't going to be able to breathe. They're going to start dehydrating a lot sooner, and it's a potential for a dangerous situation."
Such as one incident in March, when a pregnant woman, with two people hiding in her trunk, fled the I-19 border crossing.
She lost control, crashed and was ejected from her car.
"There's no way for these folks to leave of exit in case of a potential fire, an accident or a roll-over," Escalante continued.
According to Patrick McCarthy, from the Rio Rico Fire District, the summer heat means trunk smuggling can turn deadly, fast.
"In this Southern Arizona summertime, this trunk could heat up in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes...well into the hundreds."
To test that, we put a thermometer in a car trunk to see how high it climbed. In a short while, it reached 120 degrees.
Rio Rico Fire says that type of heat can cause hyperthermia and death in less than an hour.