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Four robbers target home in Crystal River

Published Oct. 2, 2005

Madelaine Cook and her 7-year-old grandson thought they were opening their door to trick-or-treaters Halloween night. Instead, four men dressed in black forced their way into her house looking for money.

Cook, 69, directed the men to her purse, where they found less than $50 before they ran from the home.

Sheriff's detectives are looking for the men. One is described as a black man, probably in his late teens or early 20s. He is about 5 feet 6 and 200 pounds. The others, two white men and one black man, may be teenagers. They each were described as about 5 feet 6 and 150 pounds. All four wore black clothes and black gloves. Two of the men wore stockings over their faces; two wore black handkerchiefs.

The home invasion occurred about 10 p.m. at Cook's home just outside Crystal River.

Cook told deputies she thought two of the men had been at her house earlier Friday. That time, they were trick-or-treating. "We think they were possibly casing the situation at that point," sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney said. "They came back later. Apparently, that was their motive _ cash."

After the suspects took the money from Cook's purse, they fled through the front door. Cook called a granddaughter, who reported the incident to authorities. Neither Cook nor her grandson was injured.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Citrus County Sheriff's Office at (352) 726-4488.