82-year-old tied up in home invasion robbery, police say

Landlord says 2 men broke in, stole gun, $700 in rent money he'd just collected

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An 82-year-old man was tied up at gunpoint Friday morning in a home invasion robbery in the Pumpkin Hill area of the Northside, east of Oceanway, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

The man, who News4Jax is not naming because the robbers have not been caught, told police he was lying down in the bedroom of his Cedar Point Road home about 8 a.m. Friday when two men wearing black hoodies and ski masks kicked in the back door of the house.

The man said one of the men had a pistol and the other was armed with an “expandable baton.” According to the police report, the men ordered the 82-year-old to face a window as they ransacked the bedroom and then one of the men asked, “Where are the hundreds?”

The homeowner told the men the money was in the back pocket of his pants that were on the floor. They found an envelope with seven $100 bills inside and then tied the man up with zip ties, told him to wait 10 minutes before he moved and not to call police, the report said.

According to the police report, the man who was robbed said he rents property on Holly Oak Court and the stolen $700 was rent money he had collected Thursday.

After the man was able to free himself and called police, he looked around the room and realized the men had also stolen a handgun from his bedside table and numerous U.S. silver coins worth about $300, police said.

K-9 units searching the area for the men were led to a ditch line in front of the home where footprints were seen in the mud, the report said. The men had tracked mud in the house, as well.

A neighbor told police that a green four-door car with “messed up” tinted windows sped off from the side of the road in front of the man's home toward Black Hammock Island, but the witness couldn't see who was inside.

The man described the robbers as black men between 20 and 30 years old, about 5 feet 9 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 160 to 180 pounds.

Another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, told News4Jax on Friday that the area is home to very few, and is typically very peaceful and quiet. 

"We normally get up when this was happening, and for something like that to carry on while we're having breakfast, it's just a shock," he said.

He said his 82-year-old neighbor did not deserve what happened to him. 

"He is an outstanding citizen. He helped everyone else around here," he said. "It's shocking."

News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said he believes the robbery was likely planned, and the homeowner was targeted, because the robbers were specifically looking for rent money collected on Thursday.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.