JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who police said is sought in connection with an Arlington home burglary has returned twice to the 92-year-old woman's house, according to her family.
On Aug. 23, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office released a surveillance image, saying it was trying to identify the man pictured following a burglary and battery that occurred in the Arlington area. Investigators said the man entered a woman's home while she slept, threatened her, hit her and took valuable items.
#JSO seeks ID of pictured suspect involved in a burglary and battery of the victim in the Arlington area. Call 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org with info. Or Call CrimeStoppers at 866-845-TIPS for a possible reward. pic.twitter.com/Myl2DhfLn3— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) August 23, 2019
The woman's family told News4Jax it happened early in the morning on June 5 at the 92-year-old's home in the University Park neighborhood of Arlington and that, since then, the man has trespassed and destroyed property twice -- on Aug. 19 and on Sunday. During the last two incidents, the home was not broken into like it was in June, said the woman's son, whom News4Jax has chosen not to name out of concern for the family's safety.
"They estimated he was in the house for four hours or more late at night, walking around, woke her up. She screamed. He slapped her. He told her to shut up. She did. Had her get back in bed and stay there while he searched the house," the woman's son said. "He kept a bright light in her face. She can’t hear. She kept saying, 'I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.' So he actually let her get up and put her hearing aids in, so he could tell her he wants money. She said, 'Well, I don’t have money. We don’t keep money in the house.' So he had her get back in bed and said, 'Stay there or I’ll come back and hurt you.'"
The son said she stayed in her bed until sunrise and then called him, so he called police.
"I have replaced the doors. They're all steel doors now," the son said. "There's a security system."
He said that includes a panic alarm that notifies police immediately and security cameras that captured images when the man came back early in the morning on Aug. 19 and on Sunday morning.
"Took the bulbs out of the spotlight we have out back, the motion sensor," the woman's son said.
The son said he believes his mother is being targeted because she is elderly. News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson agreed.
"It appears as if he is targeting her," Jefferson said. "This kind of situation is frightening for anybody to go through."
Jefferson reminded people to remain calm and to cooperate if they find themselves in similar situations. He added that people should try to get a good description of the burglar, as well as invest in an alarm system, a panic alarm and security cameras.
In the meantime, anyone who recognizes the man pictured in the image released last month by police is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS (8477).