CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla - While investigating a residential burglary, Punta Gorda Police Detectives arrested seven people and recovered two guns, stolen electronics and jewelry.

The investigation began Tuesday, December 21, with a reported burglary to a home in the 500 block of South Drive. The homeowner had been out of town and asked a friend to watch the residence. The friend stopped by Tuesday, December 21, and discovered the home had been ransacked. The suspects had entered the home through the pet door and proceeded to steal a large flat‐screen TV, a small flat‐screen TV, a computer monitor, speakers and keyboard, jewelry, food, a purse and DVD player.

While investigating the burglary, Detectives noticed Edwin Lewis Nodine III, 18, watching them from his nearby residence. Nodine has been arrested previously on burglary and theft charges. Nodine’s mother allowed detectives to enter the home and look for stolen goods, which they found. Recovered items included the large flat‐screen TV, computer speakers, a gold ring, DVD player, cable wire, small step stool, postage scale, cigarette case/lighter, a purse, and syringes.
Nodine, 533 South Drive, Punta Gorda, was arrested on the charges of burglary and grand theft. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail, where he was held on a $5,000 bond.

Detectives learned of another residence where additional stolen goods may be recovered while investigating the South Drive burglary. Late Tuesday night, Punta Gorda Police Detectives, Officers and K‐9, along with the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, served a search warrant at 6215 Quince Street, in Punta Gorda. There, Detectives found two .22‐caliber rifles with ammunition by the front door. Detectives arrested Cody Arney and Robert Ewing on charges of possessing a firearm by a convicted felon. In addition, Detectives arrested Sandra Dee Stevens for possession of a controlled substance without a prescription after discovering she had hydrocodone pills.

Those arrested during the investigations include:

Edwin Lewis Nodine III, 18, 533 South Drive, Punta Gorda, was arrested on the charges of burglary and grand theft. He was taken to the Charlotte County Jail, where he was held
Media Release – Seven arrested, guns and stolen goods recovered
December 22, 2010
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on a $5,000 bond.

Cody Ray Arney, 18, 6215 Quince Street, Punta Gorda. Charges: possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, burglary and grand theft. Bond: $10,000.

Sandra Dee Stevens, 36, 6215 Quince Street, Punta Gorda. Charge: possession of a controlled substance without a prescription. Bond: $2,500.

Robert R. Ewing, 19, 6215 Quince Street, Punta Gorda. Charge: possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bond: $5,000.

Zeb Jovan Parker, 16, 6861 Marna Lane, North Fort Myers. Charges: three counts of burglary, three counts of grand theft, resisting arrest without violence, and giving false information to law enforcement. He was taken to a Department of Juvenile Justice Facility.

Jessica Marie Merchent, AKA Jessica Cain, 17, 18258 Grace Avenue, Port Charlotte. Charges: three counts of burglary, three counts of grand theft, and resisting arrest without violence. She was taken to a Department of Juvenile Justice facility.

Nathanial Davis Kruger, 18, 3066 Broadpoint Drive, Punta Gorda. Charges: burglary and grand theft. Bond: $5,000.

More arrests are pending.

Punta Gorda Police Detectives want to remind residents to secure their homes and to follow a few basic tips if you are leaving town for the holidays:

Lock all doors and windows. Be sure to secure any pet doors as well.

Stop the delivery of newspapers and mail.

Ask a friend or neighbor to check on the home. Let that person know when you will be returning and provide them with contact information in the event of an emergency.

Use timers for lighting.