Thieves ransack Newberry home while resident is at church

An 80-year-old Newberry resident returned home from church on Dec. 13th to discover she was a victim of burglary.

Wanda Laird said she when she arrived at her SW 260th Street home from church at noon, she entered her home from the back door as usual. But she soon discovered opened bedroom doors and lights turned on in several rooms in the house.

“I left for church at 10:15 a.m.,” Laird said. “And when I got home, I didn’t think anything of it.” 

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But then, Laird said, she noticed that the front door had been kicked in and propped back up. 

“I looked at one bedroom and the door was open with the light on,” Laird said. “I looked across the hall to the other bedroom and it was on too.”

That’s when Laird noticed that drawers were opened and a cabinet containing two guns had been broken into.

“Then I got upset and thought maybe they are still in here,” she recalled. “So I backed out and called 911.”

Laird said she was born and raised in Newberry and has lived in her home for 35 years without any problems.

According to the Alachua County Sheriff’s report, the robbery is an ongoing investigation and the stolen sawed-off double-barrel shotgun and ivory handle revolver have not been recovered.

“My husband had it special made,” Laird said about the revolver, which had a silver handle and belonged to her late husband.

Laird said her son-in-law and grandson came over and immediately replaced the door and installed a security system.

Laird said it had never crossed her mind that this could happen in Newberry.

She said she thinks the culprits have been watching her home and planned the break in during her regular church visit.

Anyone with information about the theft or stolen firearms should call ASO at 352-367-4000.


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