JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A home invasion robbery Thursday night involved one of the two suspects posing as an Amazon delivery driver, according to Jacksonville Beach police.
Police said the man approached the home on 1st Street South around 7 p.m. Thursday wearing a blue and gray jacket with an Amazon logo and carrying a package.
He told the woman who answered the door she needed to sign for it, but when she went to grab a pen, the “delivery driver” and another man forced their way inside, police said.
The man with the package pulled out a gun and told the woman to go to the bedroom as the second man ran past her and went upstairs.
It’s unclear if anything was taken, but they left a short time later and headed toward 35th Avenue South, police said. They were seen getting into a black Acura TLX with tinted windows. Police were not able to provide a license plate for the vehicle.
Anyone with any information that could help police find the suspects can call Jacksonville Beach Police at 904-247-6339 or email: email@example.com.
‘A distress call’
People living in the Jacksonville Beach neighborhood were shaken by the encounter. A woman who lives on the same street told News4JAX the woman inside the home was house sitting Thursday night when the men showed up.
She said she heard screams and cries for help.
“It was obviously a distress call so we ran outside. I told my husband to call 911, and she was out on the driveway very rattled,” said the woman, who asked not to be identified. “She was pretty upset and understandably so. So we were just trying to make sure that she was OK.”
She said they weren’t the only ones outside.
“There were a couple of people walking their dogs by the house. They saw the two gentlemen run out of the house through our front yard and jumped into a vehicle,” she said.
The woman said the whole situation left the neighborhood shaken up.
“It was absolutely rattling. We were nervous. We did not sleep very well last night,” she said. “It is upsetting.”
She said the incident will definitely be changing her own behavior.
“We get deliveries every day, so we are going to be locking our doors and being more aware and alert,” she said. “That is all we can do.”
While there’s no known connection, a similar crime happened a month ago in Jacksonville’s Beauclerc neighborhood when police say a man in a vest approached a home with a package, forced his way in and stole $35,000 worth of belongings.
How to protect yourself
News4JAX crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said situations like this are now becoming common and people need to have their guards up.
“Criminals are now becoming more creative in the way that they will rob you or a way that they would want to make you a victim,” Jefferson said. “When you are receiving something like this, allegedly a package after 5 p.m. or even 6 p.m., be suspicious. Go over in your mind, ‘Did I order something? Am I expecting something?’”
He said he believes the robbers could have spent time scoping out who they were going to target with this home invasion.
“It’s either they have been there before, could be they watch them enough to know what they have inside of their home or what they have to forcefully go ahead and take,” Jefferson said. “They may watch and see you receive a legitimate package from somebody like FedEx or Amazon or UPS. And see who’s on the other side.”
He said it’s important, if you’re not expecting a package, not to let your guard down, even if the person approaching the door seems legitimate.
“Crooks are gonna play the part. Crooks are going to know what triggers you to open the door, what triggers you to cooperate,” Jefferson said.
It’s important to remember Amazon lets you track your package online. You can also sign up for Alexa updates to get a delivery window or use an Amazon locker so your deliveries don’t come to your home.