SARASOTA -- Three people were charged in connection with a burglary at a Sarasota home while a 16-year-old girl was inside, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
Renata Mendes, 57, and Aniela Rapacinska, 57, are charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling. Adam Borowski, 53, is charged with being an accessory to a burglary of an occupied dwelling. According to a release, all three suspects have multiple aliases and their true identities cannot be confirmed at this time. The sheriff's office said detectives are still working to properly identify the suspects and possibly connect them to other crimes.
At 4:30 p.m. Sunday, deputies were called to the home on Founders Club Drive by a teenager who said a woman was looking in the windows while someone else was repeatedly knocking on the door. While on the phone with 911, the girl saw Rapacinska wearing gloves and trying to enter the home through the rear lanai, the sheriff's office said.
According to the release, the girl's parents arrived at the home and confronted the two female suspects. A report states that when he repeatedly asked what they were doing, the women only said "mi perro ("my dog" in Spanish). The women then ran to an awaiting black Chevrolet SUV. The victim's father took a photo of the vehicle and got a good look at the male driver and the mother gave law enforcement the tag number.
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A deputy responding to the call saw the suspect's vehicle westbound on Fruitville Road and conducted a traffic stop, according to the sheriff's office. After confirming the occupants were the suspects, deputies said they were taken into custody. All three suspects gave detectives different accounts of why they were at the home, the sheriff's office said.
"Detectives say the suspects utilized the same pattern as that of organized groups that typically travel throughout Florida for the sole purpose of committing thefts, burglaries and related crimes," the release states. "The groups are typically from Chicago and arrive in our area between November and May."
According to deputies, the suspects' scheme involves a male driver in a rented vehicle typically dropping off two or three females to break into homes. Once inside, deputies said the women steal jewelry and other items and meet the driver at a predetermined location to make their getaway. Suspects will knock on the front door to confirm residents aren't home, but if someone answers they explain they are looking for a lost dog or asking for directions, the sheriff's office said.
All three suspects are currently being held in Sarasota County jail without bond, according to a release. An AFIS fingerprint search revealed Mendes has warrants in Collier County and New Jersey.
Due to the extensive criminal network typically associated with defendants like these, detectives requested a Nebbia hearing, which allows the court to inquire into the source of the funds used for bond to confirm they were not acquired through illegal activities or from the profits of these activities, according to the sheriff's office.
The investigation is ongoing.