The 18-year-old told authorities he had been staying for several days in an empty house where he had stashed items from other burglaries he had committed in Port Richey.
By SAUNDRA AMRHEIN
Published June 9, 2003
PORT RICHEY - An 18-year-old man was charged with felony battery on the elderly and residential burglary after police say he broke into a home when the owner was out of town, rifled through bank papers and then pushed a neighbor who came to check on the house.
Brandon Marshall Whitlock of 7520 Camelot Drive later admitted to police he had burglarized five other homes in Port Richey, according to records with the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
In total, he was charged with five counts of residential burglary, one count of armed residential burglary, one count of felony battery of a person over the age of 65 and one count of discharging a fire extinguisher, according to records.
In one of the homes, he wrote on the garage wall with the extinguisher, records said. He was being held Sunday at the Land O'Lakes jail on $100,000 bail.
Neighbors of a Seashore Drive home came to clean the yard and check on the air conditioning on Friday night, reports said.
When they got there, they found Whitlock inside the house, sitting on the floor with papers spread out in front of him. When neighbor Dominic Milelli asked him what he was doing, Whitlock responded, "I thought you were dead," reports said.
Milelli turned to call 911, but Whitlock ran at him, shoved him with both hands against the wall and ran out the door. With the help of other neighbors - and the cell phone he left in the house - officers found him hiding in a home on Laburnum Drive. The owners of the Laburnum Drive home were up north for the summer.
Whitlock told police he had been staying in the house a few days, using it to stash items he stole from other homes. In the house, he was armed with a 9-inch knife. He later confessed to committing burglaries at homes on Laburnum Drive, Martha Avenue, Sabal Way and Coventry Drive.