Popular central Fla. restaurant owner robbed in Winter Springs home



WINTER SPRINGS, Fla. - Robbers held up popular restaurant owner and central Florida businessman Manny Garcia Monday morning at his Winter Springs home.

Garcia was attacked in the driveway at his secluded estate.

Garcia owns a host of restaurants and restaurant chains and has repeatedly invested in the local community.

As he was picking up his newspaper Garcia found himself facing the muzzle of a gun, according to police.

It happened in the driveway of his home near Tuskawilla Road, in Winter Springs.

Police said two masked men took Garcia back inside his house where they woke his wife and demanded money and jewelry.

In a call to 911, Garcia's wife told a dispatcher that the men knocked her husband down before forcing him back inside.

The couple was then forced to wait inside their bathroom while the robbers got away, according to police.

"This is very unusual in our city, and particularly in the area where this happened," said Lt. Doug Seely of the Winter Springs Police Department. "This is a private community, private road, private residence."

Though he lives in private, Garcia is well-known in the public.

Over the years, he has owned Manuel's on the 28th, Harvey's Bistro, several Pebbles restaurants and at least 10 Burger Kings.

Police believe the robbers had a car nearby and drove away from the scene.

William Morrisey lives near the 8,500-square-foot Garcia home. He believes Garcia must have been targeted.

"For that to happen and them to be able to get away and not have anyone know about it, it was not something random," said Morrisey. "You would not know where this road is if you did not know this area."

Police haven't said how much money and jewelry the two men took.

Because of the ski masks police said they do not have a good description of the men.