Monday, January 15, 2018
Public safety

Couple accused of using young son in Clearwater Beach thefts arrested

CLEARWATER — Police arrested a couple Tuesday evening accused of using their 10-year-old son to help them steal items from two Clearwater Beach locations Sunday.

Julio Angel Torres, 31, and Janet M. Soto, 37, face charges of grand theft, burglary, credit card fraud and child neglect. Torres is also charged with violation of probation.

They and the boy were captured on surveillance video at the Ron Jon Surf Shop at 377 Mandalay Ave. Sunday evening as they stowed stolen goods in a baby stroller, Clearwater police said.

The trio also entered a Hooters restaurant at 381 Mandalay Ave. and removed purses from a back room, police said.

On Tuesday, St. Petersburg police received an anonymous tip from someone who had heard of the thefts and recognized the suspects in the surveillance video.

Torres and Soto, both of Kissimmee, were arrested at the Sunrise Bowling Center, 6393 Dr. Martin Luther King St. N in St. Petersburg. Their 2006 Acura was seized, along with $575 in cash and two purses with stolen IDs and credit cards, Clearwater police said.

Their 10-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter sitting in a baby stroller during the thefts were placed in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

Soto and Torres were booked into the Pinellas County jail, where they remained Wednesday morning.

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