DEEP CREEK, Fla.- Charlotte County Sheriff's detectives arrested two Charlotte High School students in connection witheight “car hopping” thefts from unlocked cars in Deep Creek last Friday morning. Two 17-year-olds from Punta Gorda were arrested.
Road deputies were patrolling the Deep Creek area at 7:05 a.m. and observed a vehicle with the light on inside in the 26300 block of Bridgewater Road. The owner said her Coach purse, wallet, and credit cards were stolen. At 7:30 a.m. CCSO dispatched deputies to the Circle-K, 2146 Kings Highway in Port Charlotte. A clerk reported a young couple came into the store at 2:30 a.m., bought nothing, and then left. They returned in the same white Toyota Camry at 5:30 a.m. and observed the young woman dump numerous items in the trash can outside and then drove off. The clerk checked the trash can and found several wallets, key chains with keys, credit cards and driver’s licenses. Deputies’ retrieved video surveillance from the Circle-K that showed the couple in and out of the white Camry and the woman putting items in the trash can.
A BOLO was issued and a Punta Gorda Police School Resource Officer at Charlotte High School positively identified the teens as students that attend the school he works at and notified CCSO detectives. Detectives went to the girl's home and talked to her grandparents who said they let her use their car to go out with friends. The car in the driveway was the same as seen in the Circle-K video. The grandmother said she found three purses inside her car that didn’t belong to her. The boy was taken in for questioning and detectives learned that both teens were involved in entering approximately 10 unlocked vehicles on Bridgewater Road, Amarillo Lane, Rampart Boulevard and San Cristobal Avenue. The boy entered the unlocked vehicles and the girl was the look out. Purses, an iPad, iPod, credit cards, licenses, keys, cell phone and coins were stolen. They cashed in the coins at the Deep Creek Walmart in the amount of $26.34. Most of the contents of the three purses were dumped in the Circle-K trash can and the girl kept the purses for herself.
Both were charged with four counts of felony Burglary to a Conveyance. The girl was also charged with three counts of Grand Theft and one count for petit theft. The boy was additionally charged with one count of Grand Theft and three counts of Petit Theft. They were taken to the Charlotte County Jail, booked, and then released to their parents on home detention.