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Burglar's backstroke getaway gets her caught

5:07 PM, Dec 26, 2012   |    comments
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Spring Hill, FL-- The woman suspected of several Spring Hill burglaries was finally caught last week when her getaway tactic, backstroking through a nearby river, didn't take her as far as she'd hoped.

It was last Friday, December 21, when deputies received a call from a home off of Richard Dr. The homeowner reportedly caught the suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Chelsea Lane, in the act.

The homeowner went outside and chased Lane toward the river, and that's when Lane jumped in and, "proceeded to do the backstroke across the canal to get to Fine St.," reports say. 

Deputies arrested her, and transported her to the District Two office for questioning, where they learned of several other burglaries, and even of an accomplice. 

Lane told officials she committed the burglaries in the daytime, and that she sought jewelry to pawn for drug money for her and her accomplice, 41-year-old Richard Leach. 

According to Lane, Leach drove the getaway vehicle, and also pawned some of the stolen items. 

Their method, as Lane told detectives, was to knock on the victim's door to see if anyone was home. If no one answered, they would break in through a sliding glass door or a window in the back of the house.

The 1999 Green Pontiac Grand Am used as the getaway car belonged to Lane. Other burglary victims provided the car's description to officials, along with a "white female", and a "white male."- all conducive to Lane and Leach's involvement. 

Detectives in Pasco County located the vehicle and have impounded it.

"Although many crimes are solved through the investigative process, just as many are cracked open because of an alert citizen," said Sheriff Al Nienhuis said. "Detectives were especially concerned about this case, due to how brazen the couple was.  Although it was only a matter of time before they were arrested, this alert citizen prevented others from being victimized."

The Sheriff encourages citizens to stay alert.

"We strongly encourage citizens, and entire neighborhoods, to take an active role in crime fighting.  The only requirement for the role is to call us if anything suspicious happens, even during the daylight hours. My deputies will handle the rest."

Lane has been charged with six burglaries in Hernando County.  She is being held in the Hernando County Detention Center with a set bond of $8,000.

Richard Leach has been charged with four burglaries in Hernando County. He is also being held at the Hernando County Detention Center with a set bond of $5,000.

The investigation continues and officials say more charges are pending.

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