JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A northwest Jacksonville homeowner is hoping three crooks are caught after they ransacked his home Monday, causing damage to his furniture and stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronics and valuables.
The man's home is in the St. James Place subdivision. The homeowner, who didn’t want to show his face, said the burglars were young and committed the crime early in the morning while he was at work.
The homeowner told News4Jax the three guys kicked in the door and then peeked around the side of the wall to make sure they were alone, and then the first thing they went for was an Xbox near the TV.
“When they are very excited about an Xbox, these kids are really young," News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said. "They just aren’t thinking of the damage they’re doing to someone else and themselves once they get caught.”
News4Jax chose not to show their faces because it wasn't a violent crime and it appears the culprits are minors, but in the surveillance video, they can be heard talking to each other about where to look and what to take, and one of them had a gun in his hand.
“They are ready to risk their lives for a couple hundred dollars,” the homeowner said.
The homeowner said when there’s motion inside his home, he gets an alert on his phone, but that morning he was at work and was not allowed to have his phone on him.
Based on the video, the guys were in the house for 11 minutes. Smith said an alarm with sound can really scare people off.
"Nine times out of 10, once that alarm goes off people just turn around and leave,” he said.
The homeowner said he’s just glad he and his children weren’t home at the time.
“The stuff they took, I don't care about," he said. "It's the evasiveness of someone coming in to your home. I have kids, so I actually leave my kids for short runs, like if I run up the street. I leave them home sometimes and they actually could've been in the house when they came in with their guns drawn.”
Smith said if police can prove one of the intruders did have a gun on him, they could be charged with armed burglary.
Anyone with information about the incident is asked to Crime Stoppers at 866-845-8477.