A resident self-storage manager at Highbanks Mini Storage in DeBary, Fla., was attacked and held captive this week by three masked men who snuck onto the property at 5 Sanctuary Ave. and knocked on the door of his mobile home. Paul Jones, 61, told investigators the men knocked on his door about 12:40 a.m. on Tuesday, repeatedly yelling his name and asking for help.
When Jones opened the door, two men entered the home, forced the victim into a corner and demanded money, according to Andrew Gant, assistant public information officer with the Volusia County, Fla., Sheriff's Office (VCSO). When Jones said he didn’t have any money, a third man came into the home and allegedly pointed a gun at his face and beat him, according to a source.
“They stuck a gun in his ear so badly that his ear is all cut up,” neighbor Barbara Brocious told local news station WKMG. Jones was also hit in the head with PVC piping, Brocious said.
The men then forced Jones outside and coerced him to open his personal storage unit, according to Brocious. The robbers locked the victim inside the trunk of the Ford Thunderbird he kept in the unit, while they rummaged through the trailer and unit, according to investigators.
Eventually, Jones heard the trunk of the car unlock, and the three suspects fled away in their vehicle, Gant said. When Jones exited the vehicle, he made his way to Brocious’ house and asked her to call 911.
Jones described the three attackers as young males, possibly 18 years old or younger. He told investigators they wore blue latex gloves.
"They took all those keys to the storage facility, both his cellphones, his billfold, which had $26 in it, and his pants," Brocious told the source.
Jones was treated for lacerations to his head at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City, Fla.
Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to call the VCSO at 386.668.3830 or Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888.277.8477.
- Click Orlando: Caretaker Attacked at Volusia County Storage Unit
- MyNews13.com: DeBary Man Attacked at Storage Facility
- Orlando Sentinel: Deputies: Man Beaten, Held at Gunpoint, Forced into Car Trunk