Three Explorer K-8 Students Burglarize Apartment in Their Own Complex
Last updated 11/4/2023 at 6:23pm
SPRING HILL – Three young siblings found themselves behind bars Monday, after officials say they burglarized an apartment and stole several electronics and other household items.
According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, School Resource Officer Dustin Mormando was working patrol for the summer and responded to a burglary at Mariner Cay Apartments located on Northcliffe Blvd.
The victim's had been away for a few days and came home to find their apartment ransacked. Mormando inspected the apartment and discovered cabinet doors and drawers, and the refrigerator door standing open. The master bedroom had also been ransacked, with various items strewn about the room. The window to this bedroom was open and the screen, which was damaged, was lying on the ground, outside. The blinds and curtains were also damaged, indicating the bedroom window was the point of entry, according to officials.
The victims claimed several items had been stolen, including a 55" television, a gaming chair, and a Google Home hub, an Xbox controller and numerous Xbox games.
Forensics technicians responded to process the scene and collect physical evidence.
While conducting a neighborhood canvass, Mormando spoke with a juvenile who lives in the complex. The juvenile told Mormando that he knew who committed the burglary, as he had seen them climbing out the bedroom window, carrying a television. The suspects told the witness the apartment was abandoned, and they were taking some items from inside. The witness described the suspects as a black male and two black females, all between 11 and 13 years of age, and stated that all three attend Explorer K-8 school. The witness confirmed that all three suspects also live in the apartment complex.
Other juveniles testified to Mormando that they also knew who broke into the apartment because they saw a black male juvenile leave his apartment with an empty garbage bag, enter the apartment in question, then leave with the garbage full of items.
Based on the information provided to him, Mormando determined the juvenile suspects to be Lance Taylor, 11, and his twin sisters, Leara and Lanasia Taylor, both 13 years old.
Deputies responded to the suspects' apartment, but no one answered the door during the first attempt. The deputies stood nearby and waited until a female, who was determined to be the children's mother, open the door and asked why they were knocking. The deputies explained the circumstances, but she claimed the children told her someone gave them the items. She then retrieved the items and gave them to the deputies.
Each of the three suspects admitted to taking part in the burglary and were subsequently charged with burglary and transported to the Hernando County Detention Center. They were later released into the custody of their mother.
All the stolen merchandise was returned to the victims.