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Storeowner uses gun to thwart four burglars

Originally ran here as:
"Store Owner Helps Deputies Battle Burglars"
Published: Sep 19, 2001, Tampa Tribune


RIVERVIEW, FLORIDA - Anyone trying to rob Broxson Stereo Equipment might face some trouble from its 66-year-old owner. In two days, Hinton Broxson has helped authorities catch five people who have tried to break into his car stereo business at 12002 U.S. 301.

``I am going to be there every night until I catch them,'' said the Riverview resident, whose store has been broken into six times in the last three months. ``I'm not going to let those no-good thieves put me out of business.''

While at his store at 1:45 a.m. Tuesday, Broxson heard someone opening the front door. He grabbed his gun, walked to the porch and saw two men standing at the open door. When they saw him, they fled. Broxson walked to the dirt road and saw four people get into a car. As he pointed a .38-caliber handgun, the car headed toward him. He jumped out of the way, and the car crashed into a small tree.

The four men got out of the car, Broxson said, and he shot three times at the car trying to scare them. They ran off but were caught by Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies.

Arrested were: Curtis Carter and Toriano Jones, both 19, and Wickliff Lespinasse and Corey Bradley, both 18. The four Tampa residents were charged with burglary of an occupied structure. Lespinasse also was charged with aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.

Monday, Broxson confronted another man who broke into his store at 2:55 a.m. Broxson threatened the man with a baseball bat. The two struggled and Broxson got punched in the head and arm, said Debbie Carter, a sheriff's office spokeswoman. The man got out of the store and drove off, but sheriff's deputies said they arrested him at Big Bend Road and U.S. 301.

Christopher Cox, 20, of Riverview, was charged with burglary of a business and battery on an elderly person. 

Reporter Jose Patino Girona can be reached at (813) 657-4534.

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