Violent home invasions becoming more common

Published: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, January 10, 2012 at 8:01 p.m.

Alachua County has had several home invasion robberies in the past few months in which the victims have been senior citizens or disabled, and some have been particularly violent.

The cases stand in contrast to what police say is a typical home-invasion robbery in which the suspects target a particular residence because they believe drugs — or money from drugs — are inside.

Among the Alachua County cases involving seniors or disabled individuals:

Nov. 2: a 59-year-old woman was tied up and threatened when three men entered her unlocked home on Northwest 38th Avenue, stealing her car, a parakeet and household valuables. Two men were arrested.

Sept. 6: An 80-year-old man was pistol-whipped and he and his 76-year-old wife who live in a Millhopper Road subdivision were tied up inside their home while robbers ransacked it and stole valuables and their car. The two men arrested for the Nov. 2 case also were charged in this one.

Aug. 18: A man with cerebral palsy was grabbed in a headlock and forced to the ground during a home invasion robbery. Two people later arrested.

June 9: A paraplegic was tipped out of his wheelchair by a man who had earlier posed as a good Samaritan. A man was arrested.

A spate of similar cases has occurred in other counties, including last week’s murder of a 69-year-old Union County man. The man was beaten and his travel trailer burned. His wife had minor injuries. Two people were arrested.

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