Hernando County authorities have arrested a 21-year-old Brooksville man who they believe is behind a string of thefts from vehicles in the Silverthorn and Sterling Hill developments over the past few months.
Kasey Richard Pellage told deputies that he stole money and other items from about 30 vehicles parked on the streets of the two subdivisions and in the parking lot at Silverthorn Country Club after losing his job in July.
Pellage was arrested Friday and was still being held Monday at the Hernando County Jail in lieu of $37,500 bail. He faces seven counts of burglary of a conveyance and one count of burglary.
According to the arrest report, Pellage said he would mainly cruise the streets of Silverthorn at night and check to see if the doors of vehicles were locked. Pellage, who lives in the 4600 block of Secretariat Run in Silverthorn, said that even if the doors were locked on a particular night, "sooner or later the owners would forget to lock their doors."
Pellage said he would take small amounts of money - rarely all of the cash -and small items so the victims wouldn't notice and become suspicious. He left behind larger, more expensive items like Global Positioning System units.
Deputies said Pellage even admitted to stealing items from the same vehicle several times.
Pellage was caught Wednesday after taking a backpack with a laptop computer inside, an iPod and other work-related materials from a car parked in the lot at Silverthorn Country Club, the report said. Pellage took those items home and returned to the lot to steal from another vehicle, when a witness saw him and chased him away, the report said. Pellage said he ran home.
Deputies then arrived at Pellage's home, where he later admitted to taking the items and the other burglaries. The items taken from the backpack were all recovered and returned to the owner.
Authorities later had Pellage go to the areas that he said he burglarized and try to identify the victims. On Deacon Court in Silverthorn, for instance, Pellage told deputies that he had tried every vehicle door on the street but couldn't remember which ones he was able to enter.
At least seven victims were contacted and confirmed they were missing items from their vehicles, mostly cash.
Joel Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 754-6120.