A 21-year-old Land O' Lakes man was arrested Feb. 21 by a Pasco Sheriff's detective, accused of swiping a woman's Coach purse from her Sport Utility Vehicle that was parked at the Ballantrae community clubhouse.
Andrew Phillip Messina of 22708 Weeks Blvd. was booked into the Land O' Lakes Jail on a charge of auto burglary, stemming from the Jan. 25 incident.
Messina broke into the woman's 2007 Ford Expedition when it was parked at 17611 Ballantrae Blvd. and stole her purse containing cash and credit cards, according to a detective.
Shortly after the purse was taken, the woman's Visa card was used at a nearby Publix's ATM, as well as inside the store, a report states. The credit card was then used at Citgo gas station.
Surveillance video detectives got from Publix shows a white Chevrolet Lumina driven by a man detectives have identified, according to the report, but he has not been booked into the Land O' Lakes Jail yet. The vehicle, however, is registered to Messina.
Messina told a detective that he acted as a "look out" in several recent car burglaries in the area committed by the other man, his arrest affidavit states.
Messina admitted that he did indeed take the credit card and used it to get gas at the Citgo, according to the report.
He is being held at the Land O' Lakes Jail with bail set at $2,500.
Felon Charged For Pawning Firearms
A Pasco Sheriff's detective recently running weapon serial numbers and conducting record checks on people who have either sold or pawned firearms at a local pawn shop found a convicted felon on the list - twice.
Detective Mark Morrison noticed while checking criminal histories that Rodney Vining, 48, had been most recently convicted of felonies in both Pasco and Hillsborough counties in 2000 and 2002, respectively, the sheriff's office reports state. His last prison release was July 1, 2004, prison records show. Four years later, he sought and got his rights restored except for his ability to own, possess or sell a fire arm, a Pasco Sheriff's Office report states.
Morrison discovered that on Nov. 4, Vining pawned a Mossberg shotgun to for $120, and on Dec. 7 pawned a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun to the same store for $80, according to his arrest affidavit. Vining, of 2700 Wilsky Rd., Land O' Lakes, told the detective he thought he was doing the right thing by pawning the weapons, a report said.
He was booked into the Land O' Lakes Jail on Feb. 21 on two charges of felon in possession of a firearm but was released the same day after posting $20,000 bail.