RIDGE MANOR — Hernando authorities have arrested eight people, including a Brooksville teenager, in connection with a string of burglaries in the Ridge Manor area.
Since November, a report said, thieves had been breaking into empty homes and stealing anything recyclable — copper wire and coils from air conditioners and appliances, aluminum pool cages, well tanks and even chain-link fencing.
The report said the thieves would then recycle the merchandise for cash, which is how Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives tracked the suspects.
Those arrested are: Kyler Odum, 17, of Brooksville; Dana Edwards, 35, of Lacoochee; Lora Burgess, 30, of Dade City; Thomas Nelms, 50, of Dade City; Tracy Green, 31, of Webster; William "Billy" Rhodes, 26, of Dade City; Jeffrey Weiner, 43, of Dade City; and Joshua Randall, 26, of Dade City.
Deputies say four people are still at large. They are: Cecil "Gregg" Scarbro, 43, address unknown; Marietta Hamby, 48, of Lacoochee; Arthur Wick, 23, of Dade City; and Keith White, 20, of Dade City.
"When we have a string of related crimes like these, our detectives and patrol deputies tenaciously pursue these criminals until a case can be made," Sheriff Al Nienhuis said.
"We know the few dollars made by criminals can cause significant hardship and financial stress to our victims.''
Hernando County Sheriff's Office detectives have closed 19 related cases, the report said, although authorities think the suspects may have committed other crimes in Hernando and possibly Pasco County.
John Woodrow Cox can be reached at (352) 848-1432 or email@example.com.