HERNANDO COUNTY, Fla. - A man and woman are behind bars tonight, after investigators say they got caught in the act of committing a crime. Deputies say the pair has been breaking into houses all over the Bay area.
Barry Ryczek claims his friend saw one of them breaking into his weekend home. Ryczek said, "The story was a little bit on the comical side. I mean at the same time, it's a little uneasy."
Last Friday, friends of his family were staying at his weekend home, on Richard Drive, in Spring Hill. Ryczek says one of them suddenly heard a scratching sound coming from the back of the house. Ryczek said, "He got up and went and looked and saw a girl trying to remove the trim molding from around the window."
That's when Ryczek says his friend confronted her and she took off down the road. The friend chased her. Ryczek says someone waiting in a get-away car left her and that's when she tried to swim across this canal.
"She didn't realize apparently how cold the water was because she kind of froze and then she eased herself in and did the back stroke to get away from him," said Ryczek. "But by then, deputies arrived and caught her on the other side."
Deputies arrested Chelsea Lane, who they say admitted to several burglaries in the area. Investigators also arrested Richard Leach, who they say drove the getaway car and pawned the stolen items. Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis says they pair had a plan to get into each home.
"Their M.O. was to knock on the door and if they felt as though nobody was home, they'd go around the back and break in the rear of the house," said Sheriff Nienhuis.
Even though deputies say the pair got away with jewelry in many cases, Ryczek says they didn't take anything from his place.
Investigators say Chelsea Lane is responsible for six burglaries and Richard Leach was behind four. They are both being held in the Hernando County Detention Center. Lane is also wanted for burglaries in Pasco County. More charges are pending.