2 women face more charges in housing scheme
The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office added new charges Thursday against two women who were arrested earlier this month, accused of forging documents to sell homes that didn't belong to them and then pocketing the proceeds. Silvia Lopez-Mateos, 37, of 618 Snug Island was charged with scheme to defraud, an additional count of fraudulent use of personal identification and two counts of grand theft. Adriana Abreu, 43, of 943 Narcissus Ave. was charged with an additional count of grand theft. Both women have been in the county jail since they were originally arrested by Clearwater police April 11. According to arrest reports, the new grand theft charges stem from several burglaries of a home in the 1800 block of Jessica Road. Deputies said the two women stripped the house of electronics, appliances, more than $35,000 in collectible glass and more than $12,000 in artwork. Many of the stolen items were found when a search warrant was executed at Lopez-Mateos' Snug Island home, reports said. Authorities are investigating several cases in which they believe the women worked together to forge documents to make it appear as if they owned homes and then rented or sold them and kept the money. Both women have aliases and have previously been charged with grand theft in other cases. On Friday evening, both were being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail.
Arson suspected in boat fire at home
Authorities are investigating a boat fire at a home in Dunedin on Thursday night as a possible arson. Firefighters were called to the house at 247 John F. Kennedy St. by a man who arrived home at 9:50 p.m. and saw his neighbor's 18-foot Rinker pleasure boat on fire, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office. When firefighters arrived, the boat was engulfed in flames. The boat, which was on a trailer in the driveway of the single-family home, was destroyed, said Dunedin fire Division Chief Bill McElligott. The fire is being investigated by the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office's arson unit and the Dunedin Fire Prevention Bureau. The vessel's battery was disconnected at the time of the fire, said Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Tom Nestor. "There's no explanation now as to how or why it caught fire," Nestor said. No one was injured. Firefighters from Dunedin, Palm Harbor and Clearwater were able to extinguish the blaze before any homes were affected.
Jeans and shoes needed for kids
Clothes To Kids, 1059 N Hercules Ave., has a critical need for jeans and tennis shoes in both boys' and men's sizes. Clothes To Kids provides school clothes to low-income, school-age children free of charge. Drop off clothing from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call (727) 441-5050 or visit www.ClothesToKids.org.