NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. (WFLA) – An accused horseback burglar landed himself behind bars in Pasco County on Thursday.
Deputies say 52-year-old Lonnie Maddox from Spring Hill rode a horse to a New Port Richey home around 10:20 a.m. Thursday. Maddox is accused of walking around the Shalimar Street property with the horse and going through a locked cattle gate.
An arrest report says Maddox opened the screened-in front porch of the home by sticking his hand through a screen to unlock the door. Maddox and the horse then walked through the enclosed porch, the report says.
According to deputies, Maddox tried opening the padlocked front door but failed and ended up getting into the home through a back window instead. The arrest report says he opened the window so far the window brackets broke, causing $100 worth of damage.
Deputies say they received a call from the homeowner who saw Maddox in his home on his indoor surveillance cameras. The victim told deputies video shows Maddox unlock the back door and leave the home after getting inside.
While responding deputies were checking the home, they say Maddox walked up and asked if they had seen a horse. Maddox was detained and agreed to speak with deputies about what happened.
The arrest report says Maddox initially told deputies his horse got lost and broke into the fence of the victim’s home. When deputies told him there was surveillance video, Maddox told them he wanted to see what the home looked like because he wanted to rent it, the arrest report states.
Property owner Steve Ferguson, who is fixing the house up to eventually rent, said this is not the first time it’s been burglarized but it’s certainly the strangest.
“It’s pretty insane, when I saw the horse I thought ‘oh, this guy is just walking around and having a look,'” Ferguson said. “But shortly after, it was pretty clear he had broken into the house.”
Maddox was arrested and charged with burglary of a dwelling.
A deputy later found the horse on Key Lime Drive and returned her to her owner.
Ferguson is laughing about the matter now, but also wants to make it clear that neither criminals nor horses are welcome at his house.
“Take it to Old Town Road,” he said.