Pete Boyette Jr. has spent more than a third of his life in prison, and after being released from his latest stint in October, authorities said, he went back to the life he knew: doing drugs, stealing cars and breaking into homes.
Out of all of his crimes, his burglaries are especially "terrifying," said Pasco sheriff's spokesman Doug Tobin. Authorities say Boyette, 42, tends to creep inside homes at night while residents are in their beds, asleep.
He was charged Friday with two residential burglaries, as well as three auto thefts.
Boyette is accused of entering a home on Firecreek Court in Holiday through a window in June and stealing the car keys out of a man's pants, which were on the floor beside his bed as he slept. His wife, asleep beside him, had her purse stolen off a dresser in the room.
The couple woke up to discover that their van had vanished from their driveway. The wife told a deputy she "never heard any sounds in her bedroom" while she and her husband slept, a report says.
Boyette is accused of sneaking into another home on Weston Oaks Drive in Holiday by taking the screen out of an open window while a couple slept. Later, the man and the woman woke up to find their TV, video game player and computer missing. They, too, never suspected that a stranger had been lurking in their home as they slept.
"Both victims stated they heard a thumping sound but thought it was their two cats," the report says. Boyette put the window's screen back into place after he raided the home, authorities said.
Tobin said it appears that Boyette did not know any of the victims. Boyette was caught by a Pasco deputy who saw him peel out of a parking lot in Holiday while driving a white Oldsmobile that had been stolen in Pinellas County, authorities said. They said Boyette sped off, crashed the car into a home and took off on foot, later telling deputies he had washed himself off in a "kiddie pool" to throw off police dogs and then tried to cover his scent by getting dirty. No one was hurt in the crash. Boyette was soon caught.
Some accomplices told investigators that he'd also been seen driving two other stolen vehicles — one of which was the van taken during the home burglary, leading to a break in the case, Tobin said.
"That's where we really started unraveling his activities," he said.
Boyette was arrested after the chase on Aug. 18 and was charged with one count of auto theft. The other charges came Friday. Tobin said Boyette is a suspect in "a number of outstanding cases" that detectives are investigating.
"He was on quite a crime whirlwind spree," Tobin said. "We are glad to get him behind bars."
Boyette remained Friday at the Pasco jail in lieu of $14,000 bail.
When asked by deputies why he would continue to drive a car he knew was stolen, Boyette said:
"I just have a criminal mind."
Erin Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6229.