CITRUS COUNTY, Fla. — A string of daytime Citrus County burglaries may have taken a deadly turn. The burglaries started in January when about a dozen homes were forced into, and guns, jewelry and cash were stolen.
“Would we have this press conference with you if we didn’t have that homicide at that later end of last week? No. That’s why I am here today,” Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said Monday.
On Friday morning 71-year-old Don Plumeri was found dead in his home on Candier Court in Dunnelon with extensive upper body trauma. There was forced entry to the home and the residence had been ransacked. In addition, that’s a rural residence. These are all signs linking the crime to the string of burglaries, the sheriff said.
“The homicide was vicious. It was brutal, and whenever you have a crime like that in your community, it sure does elevate the situation that we are at right now,” Dawsy said.
Because of the severe nature of this crime, Sheriff Dawsy is urging residents to stay vigilant, even telling people to leave a television or a radio on when they are away from home to scare away potential burglars.
“I want their eyes. I want them to be aware about what is going on in our community. If they see something different, unusual, no matter how minuscule you might think it is, I really need you to call us,” Dawsy said. “We know somebody out there knows something about these. You cannot have as many as we have had. You cannot have the viciousness of what occurred late last week without somebody knowing whats going on.”
The sheriff’s office did not release any descriptions or information about potential suspects, but the sheriff did say investigators are reaching out to other agencies in the area that have behavioral analysis units for help possibly linking these crimes to suspects.
If you have any information regarding these incidents, you can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers of Citrus County at 1-888-ANY-TIPS or by visiting http://www.crimestopperscitrus.com.
Home Safety Tips:
- Make it appear as though someone is home in the daytime and nighttime hours.
- Park a car in the driveway, not the garage, but make sure both are locked.
- Leave a radio or television on inside.
- Leave on interior fans or lamps, such as a bathroom light.
- Make sure newspapers and mail are collected every day.
- Make sure windows and doors are locked.
- Leave outside lights on at night.
- Don’t open the door to anyone you don’t recognize.
- Don’t open the door to any door-to-door sales people without calling the sheriff’s office.
- Call 911 if anyone knocks on your door and asks for someone who doesn’t live there.
- Report any suspicious activity immediately by calling 911.
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