HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla - A burglary suspect may have gotten more than she bargained for when she tried to break into a home on Richard Drive in Hernando County on December 21. The homeowner happened to be there and was ready to defend their property.
Deputies say the homeowner chased Chelsea Lane, 20, north of his home to a river. Lane then jumped into the river and started doing the backstroke to the opposite bank. However, deputies were there to meet her after the swim.
Lane was questioned by detectives and admitted to committing numerous burglaries in the Spring Hill area. Deputies said Lane told them she committed each burglary in the daytime and was after jewelry.
Lane told detectives her accomplice was Richard Leach. Lane said Leach, 41, drove the getaway vehicle, would pawn the stolen items and then buy drugs for both of them.
According to detectives, Lane explained how she would knock on the victim's door, and if no one answered, she and Leach would walk to the back of the house and break in through a door or window.
"Detectives were especially concerned about this case due to how brazen the couple was," said Sheriff Al Nienhuis in a press release. "Although it was only a matter of time before they were arrested, this alert citizen prevented others from being victimized. 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."
Leach has also been arrested and allegedly confessed to committing the burglaries and pawning some jewelry. His bond is set at $5,000.
Lane is facing six separate burglary charges in Hernando County. Her bond is set at $8,000. She is also wanted by Pasco County for burglaries in that area on December 20.