TARPON SPRINGS — A home invasion robbery was averted early Thursday morning after a resident called police to report men acting suspiciously, authorities said.
The men, who wore red bandanas around their necks, were in a silver Saturn behind the resident's home around 12:45 a.m., according to Tarpon Springs police.
A short time after the man called police, Tarpon Springs police Officer Steven Bergren saw the Saturn and began following the car, which was missing its back windshield, according to arrest reports.
Bergren called for backup and additional officers arrived. When they pulled the car over at Keystone Road and Richard Ervin Parkway, near Salt Lake, they found a loaded Ruger pistol, three red bandannas, three pairs of black gloves, a flashlight and a nylon stocking fashioned as a hood.
"The officers did a good job on this case in keeping a potentially dangerous situation from escalating," said Tarpon Springs police spokesman Jeff Young.
Officers found marijuana in the car's trunk.
The four men, who are all from Hillsborough County, told police that they came to Tarpon Springs with the intention of robbing a home at gunpoint, arrest reports show. The men said they believed the home contained a large amount of cash and marijuana.
All of the men were charged with conspiracy to commit a home invasion robbery.
Michael L. Hurt, 30, of 4401 W Wallace Ave., Tampa, was also charged with carrying a concealed firearm and violating the conditions of a restraining order, which forbade him from having a gun.
Craig D. Leggon Jr., 18, of 6720 S Lois Ave, No. 3201, Tampa, was also charged with felony possession of marijuana and not having a valid driver's license.
The other two men were identified as 21-year-old Christopher A. Norman of 6237 S Manhattan Ave., No. 57, Tampa, and 18-year-old Brandon J. Semler of 2902 Goshawk Drive, Riverview.
On Friday afternoon, all of the men were being held in the Pinellas County Jail in lieu of bail ranging from $10,000 to $20,150. Hurt, who is awaiting trial on a robbery charge stemming from an April arrest, was being held without bail on the restraining order violation charge.