PLANT CITY, Fla. — Police are encouraging the public to be on alert after a family was held against their will during a home invasion in Plant City.
Around 2 a.m. on Monday, the Plant City Police Department responded to a home invasion robbery at a residence on Barrett Avenue.
When they arrived, the 63-year-old homeowner stated that she came home around 1:30 a.m. and saw two white male subjects riding near the home on bicycles.
While she was leaning inside her car to grab an item before heading inside, one of the male subjects grabbed her and forced her into the home. Police say that the suspect threatened to kill her if she didn't do as he said.
Once inside, she was forced onto a couch and was instructed to lie face down. Police say that the suspect then rummaged through the contents of that room, before forcing her to accompany him into a second room in the home.
Police say that the suspect asked her who else was home, to which she replied her husband was home. The second white male suspect entered the room and stood watch while the first suspect searched the contents of the second room.
While still inside the residence, the woman's husband, 63, arrived at the home, where he was met by one of the suspects and forced inside the residence. One of the suspects immediately took his wallet and cell phone.
When the male homeowner was inside the home, he was thrown against a wall. Police later found that this caused a small laceration and swelling to the right side of his face.
Police say that his phone was thrown against a wall by one of the suspects, breaking it and rendering it unusable.
The homeowners' 29-year-old daughter was inside the residence as well at the time of the home invasion. One of the suspects forced her room door open and took her cell phone. One of the suspects threatened to kill her if she attempted to leave or call the police. She remained in the room until the suspects left. At that time, she and her father ran to a neighbor's home to call the police.
When police arrived they determined that several items of value were stolen from the residence including a men's wallet with driver's license and a debit card belonging to the male victim. Two Michael Kors watches, a brown in color purse, several pieces of jewelry, military challenge coins and vehicle keys. Additionally, the victims' 2016 Buick Regal was stolen from the residence and used as a getaway vehicle by the suspects.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office recovered the car a short time later, within their jurisdiction. The vehicle was unoccupied at the time of its discovery.
A perimeter with HCSO and PCPD units was established. An aerial search and police K-9 searches were conducted, both of which yielded negative results for either of the suspects. The vehicle was impounded and is being processed as evidence by HCSO.
The female homeowner described the first suspect as a white male with short brown hair. At the time of the robbery, he was reportedly wearing a black mask that covered the lower half of his face, a black jacket and khaki pants. She described the second subject as a white male, wearing dark clothing, and a black beanie cap. She believes she may have heard one of the subjects say the name "Aaron", but was not completely certain.
The daughter was able to relay a description of one of the suspects. She described him as a white male approximately 5'11" and was wearing dark clothing and a black mask covering the lower half of his face. She saw what she believed to be a black in color semi-automatic pistol in his right hand.
The male victim advised he was unable to get a good look at either of the suspects.
Police say that at this time, it is unknown if the victims were targeted or if this was a random act.
The public is encouraged to use universal precautions at all times but especially when returning home during late evening or early morning hours.
This incident is considered an active and on-going investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Chad Rader at 813-757-9200.