By KEVIN BRADY
Residents of a Riverview neighborhood are taking a little extra time locking their doors tonight, and will be for the foreseeable future, after three men broke into a home on Tucker Road and terrorized a family.
The home invasion left three people, including a 13-year-old boy, bound and gagged and, although no one was seriously hurt, the incident has left neighbors nervous and concerned.
“I am very concerned,” said a woman who did not want to be identified. She lives less than a mile from the home where the incident took place.
The home invasion started at around 10 p.m., Sept. 12 when a 13-year-old boy and Christina Weber, 27, were asleep in their home at 11200 Tucker Rd., just east of Balm Riverview Road, according to a report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Weber woke up to find a male suspect hovering over her bed. The man then placed a cover over her head, tied her up with a rope and took her into the living room.
One of the suspects then went into the room where the 13-year-old male was sleeping and tied him up, dragging him into the living room to join Weber. There the victims and suspects waited for about two hours for Charles Sanders, 60, to return to the home.
When Sanders arrived home a short time later, the suspects struck him in the head with an object and tied him up. At that time, the suspects ransacked the house for money and left the scene in the victim’s 2002 silver Chevy Astro van with missing headlights.
One of the victims was able to get untied a short time later and called 911 just after midnight.
Deputies set up a perimeter in an attempt to locate the suspects, enlisting a helicopter in the search, but were unable to find anyone.
Sanders was treated on scene for cuts to his head. The woman and teen did not suffer any physical injuries.
A landlord who rents a home on Tucker Road, just a few doors from Sanders’ house, said her tenants told her about the incident.
“They told me three people entered the house with a gun and tied up people in the house. I live a short distance away and this everyone’s worst nightmare. It is very frightening.”
Although she lives in a gated community, and feels a small sense of security, the incident is still unnerving because it occurred a stone’s throw from her home.
“Yes, ours is a gated community but someone could always follow you in here. I am sure everyone in the neighborhood is nervous.”
Another woman who lives nearby – she also did not want to be identified – heard about the incident on TV.
“I don’t know the people in that house but I know where it is. Everyone around here knows Tucker Road is not a good area. It does make me very concerned. It seems every time you turn around in this state someone is getting shot or someone is invading someone’s privacy.”
Detectives do not believe the incident was a random act.
Anyone with any information referencing these suspects is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of these suspects and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or text “CSTB plus your tip” to C-R-I-M-E-S (274637).