SJSO: Tinder date in Ponte Vedra leads to home invasion, police chase

A Ponte Vedra resident was restrained and robbed during a home invasion that originated as a Tinder date, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said.

The victim had arranged for a female to come to his house, but a male subject appeared and pointed a gun at him and began taking items, deputies said.

The victim was tied up with bed sheets, pushed under a bed and gagged with a shirt so he couldn't scream for help, deputies said. He was forced to give up his bank account information, the report said.

Before the victim freed himself, the two suspects were already using his bank accounts.

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The suspects were quickly identified as Michael Eric Wheeler, 26, and Lexus Joshlin Tripplett, 20, and located in a nearby park.

Wheeler is a convicted felon, deputies said. He's charged with kidnapping, resisting arrest and robbery.

In a report, the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office said: 

"Deputies approached the suspects, who then turn fled and attempted to lead deputies into a vehicle pursuit. Due to the seriousness of the charges and the belief that the subjects may be involved in other violent crimes from outside of our jurisdiction, deputies pinned the suspect car against several trees, stopping their attempted escape."

Wheeler is being held on a $650,000 bond, while Tripplett faces a $350,000 bond.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY: According to deputies, the victim was tied with bed sheets and gagged with a shirt while the suspects...

Posted by Action News Jax on Saturday, November 10, 2018