AUBURNDALE, Fla. - Some residents living in the typically quiet Lake Lena neighborhood remain on high alert, following an alarming home invasion robbery to a 92-year old woman.
Margaret Bair was bound and gagged by an ax-wielding robber and locked in a bathroom Thursday morning. Her impressive escape to her next door neighbor, ringing the doorbell with her head while her hands remained tied, touched many within the Auburndale Police Department.
"Pretty amazing," said Andy Ray, Deputy Chief of Police. "She's a very resilient woman. We're impressed by her ability to withstand what she went through."
Police said they've made finding the home invader a top priority.
Bair's stolen car was recovered Friday in the Jan-Phyl area of Winter Haven. The silver 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis was found in the driveway of an abandoned home at 825 Cinnamon Drive. Investigators hope to recover fingerprints that could lead to a suspect.
The attack, meanwhile, left many unnerved, including Candy Carty, an 18-year resident of Lake Lena.
"We are all kind of scared right now," Carty said. "That's something to really worry about. If you can't be in your yard in daytime, can you imagine at night? That's scary as heck," Carty said.
While Carty owns four dogs and multiple firearms, her neighbor Kathy Mott has neither. Mott said she's considering taking classes to get a concealed weapons permit.
"I would like to get a gun," Mott said. "I've never had one. I would like to get one."
Martha Nowell said her family was so concerned that relatives told her to be extra careful, even during the day.
"It scared them enough that they don't want me out in the yard by myself," Nowell said. "I'll stay in the house all day until they get home," she said.
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The Port Richey Water Department has shut down water service to the eastside of Highway US 19.