Posted by Rachel Leigh - email
JUPITER FARMS, FL (WFLX) - The usually quiet community of Jupiter Farms has been on edge since three violent home invasions. It's forcing neighbors to make drastic changes in their way of life.
Neighbors say at least one of the victims was gagged and held at gunpoint. All three of the break-ins happened early in the morning according to deputies. "You're not awake. You're not paying attention. It could catch you off guard," said one resident.
The sheriff's office says the suspects cut phone lines and destroyed cell phones, so the victims couldn't call for help. "This is a peaceful area, and this just shatters that peace. You feel helpless," the resident explained.
Now, some of the neighbors are losing sleep. "I was up til 2 O'clock imagining things."
These grandparents say they're terrified. They use words, like sick and twisted, to describe these crimes. "If they come in and take things while you're gone, you feel abused. But with this, he was home. They held a gun to his head. That can scar you for life."
Immediate changes are obvious as you drive around in the neighborhood. "We're keeping our gates locked more. We're leaving the lights on. We're letting the German Shepard out more."
As deputies continue searching for the suspects, one couple is taking matters into their own hands -- spending thousands to feel safer. "We have a security system being installed in a couple days."
One of the three suspect is white or light-skinned Hispanic in his early 20s with stringy hair and a thin build. The descriptions for two other suspects are very vague.
If you know anything, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-458-TIPS.
Meanwhile, there's a meeting for Jupiter Farms residents Thursday at 7 p.m. at Jupiter Elks Lodge located at 10070 West Indiantown Road in Jupiter.
Sheriff's deputies will be there to answer questions.