LAKELAND, FLORIDA — A home in the Copper Ridge subdivision, North Lakeland, was invaded by masked intruders on Saturday, June 3, at about 3 a.m. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, seeking public assistance in identifying the perpetrators, said the assailants left empty-handed after discovering children present in the house.
Three 11-year-olds were alone during the intrusion; the parents arrived 45 minutes later. Sheriff Judd affirmed there was no suspicion of parental misconduct.
“When the burglars that did the home invasion heard the kids screaming and crying and noticed it was kids there, he told the others, ‘Let’s go, it’s kids,’ and they left without taking anything,” Sheriff Judd said.
Shane Moore, a recent resident, expressed shock at the invasion happening in his neighborhood, which he described as friendly and sociable. Tom Kosturik, another neighbor, emphasized the high risk the intruders had taken, mentioning widespread home surveillance and firearm ownership in the area.
Sheriff Judd noted that the homeowners would have been within their rights to protect themselves, even with deadly force, had they been present during the break-in.
“Well, it’s dangerous for the ones who kicked the doors in. I can tell you, if you kick my door in, in the middle of the night, I will kill you graveyard dead, and the owners of the house would certainly have every right do to that,” said Judd.