SPRING HILL — Detectives believe they have ended a months-long residential burglary spree in the Royal Highlands and Spring Hill areas of Hernando County with the arrests of six suspects, two of whom are connected to one of the county's most notorious crimes.
After developing a confidential informant, Hernando County sheriff's detectives obtained a search warrant earlier this month for a house at 2449 Allegro Ave. in Spring Hill.
During that search on Sept. 11, a sheriff's report released Thursday states, detectives recovered a number of items that had been reported stolen and arrested Keith Thompson Sr., 38, and his son, Shawn Thompson, 19.
The Sheriff's Office said the investigation led to the arrests in the following days of four other suspects, including James Allain, 17, and Clayton Allain, 15, both of 4599 Tiburon Ave., Spring Hill.
The Allains are the children of Lori and Arthur "Tommy" Allain, who were convicted in March 2006 of nearly starving a 10-year-old girl who had been in their foster care.
The family lived in a cluttered mobile home north of Weeki Wachee and the parents were arrested in June 2004 and charged with child abuse and neglect. The girl was dehydrated and malnourished and weighed just 29 pounds.
The Allains skipped their trial and went on the run before being caught in January 2006 in New Jersey. The elder Allains ultimately were sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison each in those cases.
Detectives began looking into the recent string of residential burglaries and thefts in February and began knitting the investigations together. The thieves had been grabbing household items ranging from lawn mowers, a scooter and bicycles to ATVs and vehicles. Several of the recovered items have been returned to their owners.
The arrests on Sept. 11 led detectives to the Allains and to two other suspects, Matthew Thompson, 17, also of 2449 Allegro Ave., and Matthew England, 19, of 12266 Pitcairn St., Brooksville.
The investigation is continuing and at least one suspect is still being sought, sheriff's spokeswoman Sgt. Donna Black said Thursday.
Here are the charges the suspects face:
• Matthew Thompson, seven counts of residential burglary, two counts of commercial burglary, three counts of grand theft auto.
• Shawn Thompson, five counts of residential burglary, two counts of commercial burglary, one count of principal in grand theft auto.
• Keith Thompson Sr., one count of possession of stolen property.
• Clayton Allain, five counts of residential burglary, two counts of commercial burglary, two counts of grand theft auto, one count of petty theft.
• James Allain, two counts of commercial burglary and four counts of grand theft auto.
• Matthew England, one count of possession of stolen property.
Expect for England, the suspects have numerous previous arrests.
Booking records at the Hernando County jail show that all but Shawn Thompson have been released. He is being held with bail set at $30,000.
Greg Hamilton can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 754-6113.