Man tied up, beaten during home invasion in gated community

Updated:

Loading
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. —

Orange County deputies are looking for the men they said beat a man during a home invasion at the Stoneybrook golf community in east Orange County late Sunday night.
 
Investigators said when Howard Epstein arrived at his home on Cheval Street, the door it was pushed open by two men as he was shutting it and he fell to the ground.
 
"I went to close the door, and as soon as got the door almost closed they hit the door," said Epstein.
 
Epstein, 59, said the men then zip-tied his hands behind his back, and as he tried to turn around, one of the men hit him over the head with a handgun and told him not to look at them.
 
"I never saw their faces.  They were so fast. When they hit the door I was down," said Epstein.
 
Epstein said the men demanded the combination to his home safe.
 
"They wrapped me in my bath mat and put a gun to my head and told me 'you have one more chance' and I rattled (the combination) off and they got everything we got," said Epstein.
 
Epstein later managed to reach a phone and call 911 at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday.
 
Deputies said the home was ransacked. They said Epstein was not able to give them a good description of the assailants.
 
Investigators don't believe it was a random crime and believe Epstein was targeted.  They said the men made their way past a guard at the gate with surveillance cameras and went directly to Epstein's apartment.
 
Epstein also believes he was targeted and told Channel 9's Roy Ramos that he thinks it was because of the luxury car he drives.
 
Ramos found it was easy to get into the gated neighborhood. He drove in Monday afternoon when the security guard waved him through.
 
Deputies said the thieves seemed to know what to look for. The men got away with a lot of exotic jewelry, including a Tahitian pearl and diamond necklace, a diamond and ruby ring and a Tiffany black jaguar- shaped diamond necklace.