Daycare video leads to car burglary bust
Friendswood police have arrested three people in connection with a recent rash of vehicle burglaries around Friendswood and Pearland.
Misty Billotto, 33, of Orlando, Fla. and Stevens Charles, 24, of Miami are both charged with credit card abuse, police said.
Bond has not yet been set for Billotto, who has been transferred to the Harris County Jail.
Charles is being held on two credit card abuse charges and a traffic charge totaling $160,198 in bonds. He is awaiting transfer to the Galveston County Jail.
Jamal Richardson, 27, of Kissimee, Fla. is charged with burglary of a motor vehicle by Friendswood police and credit card abuse by Pearland police, Friendswood police said. He has been released to Pearland police investigators and his bonds total $25,000.
Police identified the three from the security video of a child care center located on S. Friendswood Drive and the ATM at Texas First Bank, 111 W. Parkwood. The videos showed the trio in a late model silver Ford Edge that was parked across the street from the child care center.
One of them then entered a vehicle and took a purse, Friendswood police said. The credit cards in the purse were used at Texas First Bank and an area Wal-Mart.
On Wednesday, a Friendswood police officer patrolling the 300 block of S. Friendswood made a traffic stop of the late model silver Ford Edge about 8:05 a.m. Charles and Richardson were initially arrested on traffic violations, while Billotto was taken into custody later in the day when she arrived at the police department to visit the pair in jail.
She admitted to her involvement in the credit card abuse and is on probation for grand theft in Florida, police said. Florida officials told Friendswood police that they will apply to revoke her probation.
Richardson is out on bond from Florida on a charge of delivery of a controlled substance. Charles is out on bond from North Carolina for burglary of a motor vehicle and credit card abuse.
Police say that during a search of the trio's hotel room in Webster, they recovered a laptop reported stolen in Florida and an iPhone from a vehicle burglary in Pearland. Suspecting the three could be responsible for multiple vehicle burglaries in the area, Friendswood police are working with agencies in Brazoria and Harris counties to determine if additional charges should be filed.
Since Feb. 7, 17 vehicle burglaries have been reported to Friendswood police. Some vehicles were left unlocked, while others had windows smashed or a door lock popped.
In each case, a purse, wallet or other valuable item was left in clear view. Police are urging residents to remember to remove valuables from their vehicles and to ensure that they are locked.
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