Gulfport Home Invasion Could Have Ties to Victims’ Business

Cathy Salustri

Gulfport Home Invasion Could Have Ties to Victims’ Business

 Early Tuesday morning, three men kicked in the door of a home on the 5100 block of 16th Avenue South. They fired gunshots into the home.

 The residents, who also own a local Asian restaurant, remained unharmed in the back bedroom. The attackers attempted to get into the bedroom; when they could not, they fled the scene on foot.

 Neighbors saw three black men running from the home. One neighbor described one of the suspects as “wearing a white tank top, baggy shorts, and appeared to have dreadlocks.”

 Police spent Tuesday questioning people about the home invasion.

 Gulfport Detective Sergeant Tom Woodman says the family’s business could have some relation to the crime.

 “There is a theory that due to their occupation as owners of an Asian restaurant, due to a recent series of Asian restaurant owners being robbed in Hillsborough County, [and that] it’s common practice for Asian restaurant owners to bring home cash,” Detective Sergeant Woodman says, but cautions, “Thats just a theory, to say that they’re targeted because of that. That’s a theory that is generalized.”

 Although he reminds residents and businesses to exercise common sense about locking doors and securing belongings, he indicated the home invasion is most likely not a random act of violence.

 “Most crime of that heightened violence isn’t random. For someone to pick a specific house and shoot some rounds off in the house, it would appear that there’s some reason behind it, but there’s nothing that confirms that.”

 He also added that it would not be the same men who committed a similar rash of such crimes in Hillsborough, as they remain in jail.

 This is an ongoing active investigation. If anyone has information regarding this crime, please contact Detective Jimmy Embry at 893-1043.