Man bound, held at gunpoint in N.W. Gainesville home

The 71-year-old was attacked at dusk in the yard of his home off of Eighth Avenue.


Published: Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, July 31, 2009 at 11:42 p.m.

Three robberies occurred overnight Thursday in Gainesville, including one in which a 71-year-old man was attacked and tied up with duct tape, police reported.

For the past several weeks, area law enforcement agencies have been dealing with a series of robberies, some involving home invasions, others at businesses and some as people have been walking through neighborhoods.

The first robbery Thursday night occurred in the 1700 block of Northwest Eighth Avenue, where a man was outside in the yard at about 8:30 p.m., said Sgt. Steve Baker. Two men, both wearing ski masks and armed with guns, wrestled with the older man, pulled him into the house and tied him up with duct tape.

The robbers stole cash from the resident.

Police said the two approached the home from Rattlesnake Creek, which runs through the area.

The man was able to free himself and get outside, where he flagged down help.

Later in the evening, two more robberies occurred.

A man walking alone at Ventura Apartments off Southwest 20th Avenue shortly before 9 p.m. told police two men with handguns robbed him, Baker said. The suspects took the person's cell phone and cash. A gray or silver four-door sedan, similar to a Ford Taurus, may have been involved in the robbery, according to police.

About two hours later, police were called to the Xtra Food Mart and Liquor Store, 1712 S.W. 13th St. A lone gunman robbed the store's clerk at about 10:45 p.m. The robber used a bandanna to help conceal his face. Police recovered some of his clothing in their search for the suspect and reported a silver-colored sedan could be linked to the case.

There were no initial reports that any of the victims in the three robberies was seriously injured.

Baker said there appeared to be some similarities between the two robberies that occurred later in the evening. But police could not immediately say if any of the cases were connected or linked to other robberies in the city or county.

Officers noted that the victim in the robbery at the apartment complex was Hispanic. Police have reported recent cases where robbers apparently have targeted Hispanic residents, thinking they either will not or, due to a language barrier, cannot report the case.

The number of robberies for the city has been on the rise, said police spokesman Lt. Keith Kameg.

Last year, at about the same time, the police department had received reports of between 100 and 110 robberies. That number during the same time frame this year has now increased to 150 to 160.

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