RIDGE MANOR — Authorities have charged a Dade City man in connection with last month's string of vehicle burglaries in eastern Hernando County.
Matthew Terrio, 30, admitted to involvement in five of the six burglaries committed in the Ridge Manor area between Oct. 11 and 27, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said. In all the cases, suspects smashed windows and grabbed purses and other items.
Investigators viewed surveillance video from retailers in Pasco County where fraudulent transactions were made with credit cards stolen from the vehicles. Armed with a description of the suspect's vehicle, a Dade City police officer stopped Terrio on Thursday and took him into custody for questioning.
Terrio was charged by Dade City police with fraudulent credit card purchases. In Hernando, he faces four counts of burglary of a conveyance and two counts of principle to burglary. Records show Terrio had not yet been booked into the Hernando County Detention Center by Tuesday afternoon.
A second suspect is being sought for questioning. Investigators are also comparing fingerprints lifted from the scene of another vehicle burglary at the Holiday Inn Express in Ridge Manor West.
Transient accused of stealing credit card
A 22-year-old transient is accused of stealing an elderly man's credit card and racking up more than $1,000 in purchases, authorities say.
Cody Ryan Whitney was arrested Monday and charged with one count each of fraud and grand theft after surveillance video showed him using the man's card at Walgreens, records show.
According to the Sheriff's Office, a Spring Hill woman reported her elderly grandfather's card had been stolen. The woman said the only person with access to the residence was Aileen Torres, a caretaker for the man.
The card showed 19 transactions totaling $1,070.15 during September, investigators said. Five of the transactions were made at Da Hookah Lounge on Kass Circle and four at the nearby Discount Cigarette Outlet.
When detectives showed Torres the surveillance video, she identified Whitney and said she let him stay at the elderly man's house while she was caring for the man.
Whitney admitted he was the man in surveillance video but denied stealing the card. He remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Tuesday in lieu of $2,000 bail.
Deputies say three connected to meth lab
Deputies acting on a tip about a wanted person stumbled upon a methamphetamine lab Saturday, authorities said.
Deputies showed up at 22215 Croom Road after receiving the tip that a wanted person might be there, according to the Sheriff's Office. While at the home, deputies noticed items used to make meth.
After securing a search warrant, detectives discovered camp fuel, liquid drain opener, coffee filters, pseudoephedrine, cold packs, lithium strips and Mason jars. Authorities also found one marijuana plant.
In a travel trailer on the property, detectives found a .270-caliber rifle, two glass pipes and a small plastic bag with methamphetamine residue.
Matthew Wayne Oxendine, 42, and Tina M. Araniecke, 44, were both charged with manufacturing and possession of methamphetamine, possession of a structure for the manufacture of a controlled substance, possession of chemicals with intent to manufacture a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Araniecke remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Tuesday in lieu of $35,500 bail.
Oxendine was also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and cultivation of marijuana. He also remained in jail, with bail set at $100,000.
Christopher John Niendorf, 51, who was living in the travel trailer, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia. He was released after posting $500 bail.