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'Backstroke' fails to help suspect escape

Dec. 31, 2012 at 3:43 PM   |   Comments

SPRING HILL, Fla., Dec. 31 (UPI) -- Authorities in Florida say a woman suspected in several residential burglaries did the backstroke in a canal in an unsuccessful escape attempt.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office alleges Chelsea Lane, 21, was interrupted attempting to burglarize a Spring Hill home Friday by the homeowner and the suspect jumped into a canal of the Weeki Wachee River and did the backstroke to escape her pursuer.

However, deputies picked up Lane when she exited the water and she allegedly admitted during questioning to being behind several November and December burglaries in the area. She allegedly told deputies she and an accomplice, who she identified as Richard Leach, 41, pawned many of the stolen items and used the cash to buy drugs.

"Although many crimes are solved through the investigative process, just as many are cracked open because of an alert citizen," 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."

Lane was charged with six counts of burglary and held in lieu of $8,000 bond.

Leach was arrested on four counts of burglary and jailed in lieu of $5,000 bond.

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