Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Suspect in Hernando, Pasco burglaries caught trying to swim to freedom

WEEKI WACHEE — A string of residential burglaries across Hernando and Pasco counties may have come to an end late last week — with a failed attempt at the backstroke.

On Friday, Hernando County sheriff's deputies arrested 21-year-old Chelsea Lane of New Port Richey and a 41-year-old Brooksville accomplice after Lane was interrupted as she tried to break into a home in the 6400 block Richard Drive, according to deputies.

Caught in the act by the homeowner, Lane fled.

The homeowner gave chase, following her north toward a canal off the Weeki Wachee River, deputies said.

In an attempt to avoid being caught, she jumped into the canal and tried to backstroke to the other side.

There, authorities were waiting to take her into custody.

Lane is accused of burglarizing six homes in Hernando County, and she is a suspect in several burglaries in Pasco County that happened Dec. 20, the Sheriff's Office said. Richard Leach, who authorities said helped pawn the stolen goods and acted as a getaway driver, faces charges in four burglaries.

Reports of residential burglaries began coming in to the Hernando Sheriff's Office in early November and primarily involved homes along Mariner Boulevard in Spring Hill.

People described seeing a woman. Some also saw a man. Some saw a green vehicle.

On Friday, deputies got their break.

Once apprehended, Lane admitted to committing numerous burglaries in the Spring Hill area, deputies said. She said the robberies took place in the daytime and that she and Leach targeted jewelry.

The pair would pawn the stolen goods and use the money for drugs, she said.

She told detectives they would break in through a sliding-glass door or a window.

The Sheriff's Office determined that Lane owned a green 1999 Pontiac Grand Am, matching the description provided in some of the burglaries. Pasco County authorities found the vehicle and impounded it.

Hernando Sheriff Al Nienhuis praised the alert resident, who was not named.

Lane, who was booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on Friday night and remained there Wednesday, faces charges in six Hernando burglaries. Her bail was set at $8,000.

Leach was arrested in connection with four Hernando burglaries and was being held Wednesday in lieu of $5,000 bail. Deputies said he admitted to being involved with Lane and the criminal activity. He also admitted to pawning some of the stolen jewelry, they said.

The investigation is ongoing.

Danny Valentine can be reached at dvalentine@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1432. Tweet him @HernandoTimes.

Suspect in Hernando, Pasco burglaries caught trying to swim to freedom 12/26/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 26, 2012 7:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Observations from a liberal, gay, Latino, feminist Florida House freshman

    Blogs

    State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando,  rocked the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus dinner at Tallahassee's Hotel Duval Satursday night with his unabashedly liberal and passionate take on the myriad issues he said are key to LGBTQ Floridians. Among them: Access to guns, Reproductive rights, home …

    Carlos G. Smith
  2. Delta Sigma Theta honors outgoing national president

    Human Interest

    During her four years as national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Paulette Walker said she always focused on the comma between "Sorority" and "Inc."

    Paulette Walker, the former director of undergraduate programs and internship in the College of Education at the University of South Florida, will be honored on Saturday for her leadership in the Delta Sigma Theta sorority.
  3. 10 sailors missing, 5 hurt in collision of USS John S. McCain

    SEOUL —Ten U.S. Navy sailors are missing and five have been injured after the USS John S. McCain destroyer collided with an oil tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

    In this Jan. 22, 2017, photo provided by U.S. Navy, the USS John S. McCain patrols in the South China Sea while supporting security efforts in the region. The guided-missile destroyer collided with a merchant ship on Monday, Aug. 21, in waters east of Singapore and the Straits of Malacca. Ten sailors were missing, and five were injured, the Navy said. [James Vazquez/U.S. Navy via AP]
  4. Pasco County Fire Rescue fighting a two-alarm fire started by an explosion

    Fire

    Two houses are on fire and one victim has been critically burned and taken to a trauma center following an explosion at a home at 8652 Velvet Dr, in Port Richey.

  5. Rays see the Blake Snell they've been waiting for in win over Mariners

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — It was a one-run game Sunday when the Mariners' Robinson Cano singled with one out in the seventh inning, bringing the dangerous Nelson Cruz to the plate.

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell (4) throwing in the third inning of the game between the Seattle Mariners and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017.