Family ambushed inside Hallandale Beach, 3 armed suspects at large

HALLANDALE BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police are investigating after a family said they were ambushed by three heavily armed men inside of their Hallandale Beach home.

It all happened just before midnight, Monday, at a home located along the 400 block of Tamarind Drive, south of Hallandale Beach Boulevard.

Mateo Castro was left bruised and had marks along his hands and wrists, Tuesday, from what he said happened to him and his parents house, overnight.

According to Castro, he had just arrived home from work, when there was a knock on the door from three men claiming to be police officers conducting an investigation about a burglary next door.

When his mother opened the front door, the group of men barged in with weapons, tied up Castro, his mother and father, and then demanded money and jewelry. The burglars stole money, jewelry and their father’s iPhone.

“They told me to shut up and kind of kicked me a couple of times,” said Castro. “Then, they just pulled me up, dragged me to the living room and threw me down next to my mom.”

“Once she opened the door, they pushed the door, pushed their way in, put my mom on the floor, tied them with the tighties,” said Pablo Castro, the victim’s other son. “The same thing with my dad and my brother. They kicked my brother and tied his feet and his arms.”

Pablo headed to his parents’ home as soon as he received a panicked phone call from them.

Pablo believes the armed burglars followed his father home from work at a check cashing store. The family owns multiple check cashing stores. “They knew what we do after we come from the office,” he said.

Before Pablo got the call from his parents, his father was able to get out of the house and yell for help, getting the attention of a neighborhood security guard.

“This man came running down the streets, screaming that his home was invaded, and he needed help,” said security guard, Jerry Paskowitz. “He was pretty hysterical. He was frantic, worried about his family and all that, so I didn’t really get any details, except that there were three guys, they had polo shirts on with police insignias, and he saw a white four-door car, which he said looked like a police car.”

Paskowitz said the victim’s hands were still tied when he came looking for help. “He was still tied up with those huge zip ties, and eventually the other guard that was working in here was able to free him,” he said.

One neighbor said he heard helicopters overhead assisting with the investigation, from 11:30 p.m. to about 3 a.m.

Pablo was able to find his father’s stolen iPhone using the Find My iPhone app, which led police to a home located along Southwest 38th Street and Southwest 47th Avenue.

At this home was the white Ford Crown Victoria parked in the driveway, which was the same car seen earlier that night by Castro. The resident of the home told police she had nothing to do with the crime or the suspects, and that the car involved was simply dumped on her driveway.

Police were then seen surrounding a white van on the driveway of a home in West Park. Police approached the van with guns drawn but did not find anyone.

The investigation remains ongoing.

If you have any information on this home invasion, call Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $3,000 reward.

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