Lutz, Florida

From Tampa Bay’s TBO.com of October 30, 2007

3 Men Sought In Home Invasions In Hillsborough

Hillsborough County deputies are searching for three men suspected in a string of armed home invasions and the shooting of a resident who defended himself and nearly caught one of the suspects.

Arrest warrants on charges of armed home robbery were issued today for Cedric Stephens, 20, Derrick Grady, 19, and Ronnie Bolden, 18. Stephens also faces one count of attempted murder.

On Friday morning, the suspects forced their way into an apartment at 15101 Buckhorn Court in Lutz, sheriff’s spokeswoman Debbie Carter said. They demanded money and threatened to shoot the four victims. The men left in a newer model red vehicle after taking cash and personal property.

On Sunday morning, the same suspects knocked on an apartment door at 5427 Ginger Cove in Tampa, Carter said. After a victim opened the door, the suspects produced a gun and left with various items of personal property.

Four hours later, the suspects forced open a door at 2608 Rustic Ridge Loop in Lutz, Carter said. They pointed a handgun at a 34-year-old man and took his cash and a video game player, also leaving in a red car.

As they left, the robbers doused the victim’s face with pepper spray, Carter said. The victim grabbed a rifle from in the apartment and chased after them. He caught up to one of the men and began to escort him back to the apartment when one of the other suspects came up behind him and fired a shot in the back of his neck, Carter said.

The suspects drove away in a red 2008 Chevrolet, Carter said. The victim chased after the vehicle on foot and then fired one shot at the vehicle.

The suspects abandoned the car and ran west out of the complex, she said. The victim was rushed to Tampa General Hospital with injuries that weren’t life-threatening and was released.

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