SPRING HILL, Fla. (WFLA) — A string of vehicle burglaries spanning multiple counties landed two women behind bars, and another suspect remains at large, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.
According to deputies, it wasn’t the first time the women have violated the law. One of the offenders was tied to 11 cases in Hernando County involving a total of between $5,000 and $10,000 worth of fraud.
“They were really targeting credit cards,” Lt. Scott Lamia said.
According to deputies, the main suspect, Laquada Davis, made a large purchase at a Target store in Spring Hill using a credit card that she stole during a vehicle burglary, a so-called “smash and grab” incident, something that happens often in the Tampa Bay area. It’s a type of robbery where the criminal smashes your car window and takes valuable items as fast as they can.
Lt. Lamia told 8 On Your Side deputies got a call from an employee at the store after a loss prevention officer recognized Davis, who had several warrants out for her arrest. Deputies found her at the Lowe’s down the street.
“She attempted to flee, [then] she was captured,” Lt. Lamia explained. “She resisted physically, and several deputies and detectives had to use force to put her hands behind her back and handcuff her.”
Spring Hill resident Steve Bledsoe said he fell victim to a “smash and grab” burglary himself a few years ago, even after locking his truck.
“I had went to go to the restroom and when I came back, I had seen him across the parking lot, I seen his feet, he had broken into the other side of my truck,” he recalled. “A guy wanted in and he kicked the passenger window out with his knee.”
“He stood one a running board and with one shot took it out,” Bledsoe continued.
So, what should you do to prevent yourself from falling victim to a crime like this?
“In situations like this, don’t keep anything in plain sight, they’re targeting vehicles that have stuff in plain sight,” Lt. Lamia said. “These are not unlocked vehicle burglaries, but make sure you do unlock your car, remove valuables, remove firearms, those are items criminals target.”
Davis’ new battle will be in the courtroom. She’s scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 30 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside of Hernando County, Davis has open cases with the following agencies:
- Citrus County Sheriff’s Office
- Pasco County Sheriff’s Office
- Orange County Sheriff’s Office
- Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
- St. Lucy County Sheriff’s Office
- Martin County Sheriff’s Office
She is being held without bond on the following charges:
- Seven counts of fraud-imperson, use/possess id of another person without consent
- Five counts of burglary, unoccupied conveyance unarmed
- One count of fraud – illegal use credit cards, use more than 2 times within 6 months
- One count of obstruction/resisting an officer without violence
Deputies told 8 On Your Side, She’Maliz Olivia Toccara May was in Davis’ vehicle as law enforcement entered the Lowe’s. She allegedly got out of the car and tried to warn Davis deputies were coming.
She was charged with one count of public order crimes, accessory after the fact.