89-year old man locked into closet during violent home invasion in Sarasota

SARASOTA, Fla. - Sarasota County Sheriff deputies are looking a man who broke into an 89-year-old man's home, robbed him and then locked him into a closet.

Deputies say the suspect got in through a sliding glass door, but even when he made off with valuables including a flat screen TV, he didn't leave the victim alone.

"He kept to himself mostly. You know I've seen him out a few times. He's an older guy," said neighbor Tim Loy.

Loy is just finding out his 89-year-old neighbor was the victim of a violent home invasion one day before Christmas.

"I think it's shameful. It's that time of year where we should be treating each other kindly and taking care of each other," he said.

But Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputies say the suspect was not kind to the elderly homeowner.  The suspect broke into Robert Beeler's home on Stone Ridge Trail and robbed him.

"I mean it's disgusting. I don't get human beings in general. I know there's a capacity for good people and a capacity for bad people, but sometimes I'm just shocked by what people to do to each other," said neighbor Jessica Moritt.

When the victim tried to get out of the house to safety, investigators say the suspect ran after him and locked Beeler in his bedroom closet. The two struggled over the homeowner's gun before the suspect took off. 

"My heart goes out to him. I feel horrible for him and I'm just not really sure what it takes somebody to go ahead and do something like that," said Loy .

Deputies are still looking for the home invasion suspect and plan to charge him with battery on an elderly victim.

"Somehow the holidays seem to, I think, bring sometimes, things in people you wouldn't expect," said Moritt .

The suspect is described as a tall white male with a mask over his face.

If you know anything about the home invasion, you're asked to call the Sarasota Sheriff's Office.

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