Three robbed at gunpoint in home invasion

OKEECHOBEE — Three young men were robbed at gunpoint late Friday night, Dec. 21, when four people allegedly broke into their home on Northwest Ninth Avenue and woke them up demanding money. All the suspects were wearing masks and gloves. One suspect was said to be a female based on her voice, and she was described as wearing a black sweater.

One victim said he was asleep when he woke up to yelling and a handgun at his head. He said he did not understand what they were saying because he does not speak English, but explained that while one suspect held him at gunpoint, the other three went through his bags.

The second victim said he was awakened by the yelling and saw people searching through his belongings. He did not get a good look at anyone because it was dark, and they wore masks.

The third victim said he woke up to yelling and thought something was going on in the other partition so he turned on the light. He said he saw a thin, light skinned male wearing a gray sweater pointing a gun at him. The man began yelling at him in English. The victim said he thought the man was demanding money, but because he does not speak English, he was not sure. He said he pulled $20 out of his pocket and gave it to him. He reported a second man came in and punched him in the side of the head while yelling at him. He thought this man was demanding more money. At that time, the light skinned man reportedly shot a round into the ground, and they all ran out the door.

A witness reportedly saw several people run out of the camp towards a red or maroon Saturn and took a picture of the tag because it seemed suspicious to him. Not long after a BOLO was issued, the OCSO spotted the vehicle at the Racetrac on State Road 70, and Detective Sgt. Bettye Taylor responded to the scene where five people were being detained. At the scene, they found a bag of drugs and in plain sight inside the vehicle they could see a brown hand gun and magazine. As the car was being lifted to be towed, a black handgun and a live round of ammunition was discovered under the vehicle. No items were removed from the vehicle pending a search warrant.

Breaira Rayshun Smith, 19

Breaira Rayshun Smith, 19, Northeast 15th Avenue, was one of the five found at Racetrac. She was in possession of two cell phones reported stolen in the home invasion earlier. She was also identified by the witness who had seen the suspects run from the home earlier. Smith was arrested and charged with home invasion robbery. Bond to be set by the judge. The case is still under investigation.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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