Two people have been charged in connection with a string of residential burglaries.
Over the past two months there have been a string of residential burglaries, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said. Many of these burglaries were reported along Mariner Blvd in the Spring Hill area.
On Friday, December 21, a homeowner on Richard Drive called police about an attempted burglary on their home. The homeowner, who was home at the time, proceeded to chase the female suspect, police said.
The suspect, later identified as Chelsea Lane, 20, jumped in the river to avoid being further chased by the homeowner and proceeded to do the "backstroke" across the canal. Deputies arrived and were able to arrest Lane after getting out of the river.
Upon questioning by detectives, Lane admitted to numerous burglaries in the area – all committed in broad daylight and targeting jewelry. Lane also provided the name of her accomplice, Richard Leach, 41. Leach reportedly drove the getaway car and help pawn the items stolen from the homes. Together, Lane and Leach used the money they received pawning the items to buy drugs.
The two suspects would knock on victim's door, first, to see if anyone was home before proceeding to the rear of the home to break a window.
Sheriff Al Nienhuis said, "Although many crimes are solved through the investigative process, just as many are cracked open because of an alert citizen. Detectives were especially concerned about this case, due to how brazen the couple was."
Both Lane and Leach are in the Hernando County Detention Center facing a string of burglary charges. Lane is also wanted by the Pasco County Sheriff's Office for several burglaries.
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