Detectives with the Winter Haven Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office are working together to determine if a string of similar, violent home invasions this week are connected.
In both cases, two bad guys forced their way into the homes and threatened those inside with guns. Winter Haven PD told News Channel 8 Friday that investigators just didn’t have enough information to say definitively if they’re the same suspects or not.
It started on Tuesday morning when two armed men wearing face masks broke into 74 year old Chris Barnett’s home on 6 St. NE. As Barnett was getting her great-granddaughter ready for school, the suspects forced their way into the house and told Barnett to get down.
Despite the threat, Barnett says she wasn’t afraid.
“I ain’t scared of this goon. He got it right in front of my face, he could have blown my brains out,” Barnett told News Channel 8. “I said get that thing out of my face!”
Barnett says the suspects took off over her backyard fence with cash, clothes, and her guns. When police canvassed the area, they found surveillance video of a man they believe to be one of the suspects but didn’t catch the suspects themselves.
Wednesday afternoon, a very similar home invasion went down on Dillion Street, about five miles from Barnett’s home. Polk County investigators say two black males, armed with semi-automatic handguns kicked down Michelle Biggins’ door and ransacked the home.
“They kicked the door in, went into the room where my mom was at, and put a gun to her head.” Biggins explained.
A red Hyundai Sonata was captured on home security parked a couple doors down.
“I just pray to God that they catch them,” Biggins said.
While Biggins is leaning on her faith to find the suspects, Chris Barnett just says the cops better get them before she does.
“I don’t know who you is, but if I ever find you…God bless you, babies,” she warned.
Heartland Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward for information that solves either, or both, of these cases.