Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay is offering up to a $3,000 reward for information that leads to the identification and arrest of a man who attacked an elderly woman in her Wesley Chapel home on Wednesday.
The attack took place just after 1 p.m., according to Pasco County investigators.
Investigators released a composite sketch of the suspect. In a news release, deputies said he is described as “a black male with medium height, medium build wearing shorts, and a polo shirt, wearing a black backpack, armed with a firearm entered the home and stole several firearms." They believe he is between the ages of 25 and 30 years old.
The victim’s son told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska his mother was beat up inside her home and is terrified. Thankfully, her injuries are not life-threatening.
“I am glad to be alive. I’m a little bit sore. And I gotta a couple places on my head that are giving me some trouble,” Jackie Hanlin said.
She added that she still feels safe in her Wesley Chapel neighborhood, even after the invasion attack.
“I would not like for anyone to have to go through what I went through,” she said. “You just need to be caution about your surroundings. You need to not open the door until you know who is at the door.”
“This is a good neighborhood,” Mark Wade said. “I've lived here for 16 years. I've never heard any problems like this, a little bit of theft out of the garage that's about it.”
Neighbors said this type of crime in the area is shocking. With a suspect still on the run many will be on high alert throughout the night.
“I sleep light, and I have a gun so if he comes in my house he is going to get shot that's all I have to say,” Wade said.
Sheriff Chris Nocco said this case has deputies angry.
“Our members have their heighten sense. They have that sense that this could be my mother. This could be my grandmother. This could have been my loved one. And that sense of rage, we are human beings. That sense of rage comes upon us,” he said.
Please contact the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-706-2488 if you have any information on this case.
Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspect who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-8477.