WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. (WFLA) – A Pasco woman who survived a violent home invasion is warning others it can happen to anyone.
“I was one of those people who thought it could never happen to me,” said 72-year-old Jackie Hanlin.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies are now staked out by her home on Magnolia Boulevard.
She didn’t want to talk about exactly what happened when a man beat and robbed her, but she says it was the scariest moment of her life.
“The fear of whether you were going to live through it or whether you were going to die today,” she said.
Hanlin described the man to Pasco County deputies and they were able to put together a detailed composite sketch. She says he was wearing shorts, a polo shirt and had a black backpack with him.
Hanlin says once he was inside, he robbed her of several guns and hit her more than once.
“One was with the gun in his hand, the other was with his hand and like this,” she says as she describes how he pushed her down.
Fortunately she’s not badly injured, but does have quite the shiner on her right eye and a cut on her forehead. She says it was the worst day of her life.
Now she’s warning others if it can happen to her, in Quail Hollow, a family-friendly neighborhood in Wesley Chapel, it can happen to anyone.
“Be extra careful, about opening your door to sales people and strangers,” she warns.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco is nothing short of angry and has ramped up the investigation to a whole new level, he says.
“This poor woman,” Nocco said during a Thursday afternoon press conference. “Her life is totally shattered. Her confidence that she can be safe in her home is totally shattered.”
Nocco calls the crime random and doesn’t believe Hanlin was targeted but now, he says, he and his deputies certainly have a target.
“Nobody should be the random victim of crime especially when you’re going to pistol whip a 73-year-old woman,” he said. “It’s not going to happen in Pasco again.”
The sheriff described the suspect as a black male in his late 20’s or early 30’s, 5’11″ or 6’ tall, with a muscular build and short hair.
Nocco also wants people to remember that if you see this man, don’t approach him, because they consider him armed and dangerous. Instead, call them right away.
A $3,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest in the case.
Deputies are asking that you share the composite sketch of the man on your social media accounts.
Anyone with any information regarding the identity of the suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at http://www.crimestopperstb.comor or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application. Crime Stoppers must be contacted first in order to be eligible for a cash reward.
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco will hold a news conference at 1:30 p.m. where he will release more information. News Channel 8 will be there.
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