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Accused purse snatcher arrested on fraud charges

Hernando Today Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 05:19 PM

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A bank teller alerted the Hernando County Sheriff's Office to a woman trying to cash a stolen check with a stolen identification, and the items have been linked to thefts at gas stations on Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

An employee of the Bank of America at 11050 Spring Hill Drive called the sheriff's office Wednesday to report a woman trying to cash a check belonging to one person while using the identification of someone else, deputies said.

The woman fled the bank and left the check and identification behind, according to a media release.

Deputies said they found her vehicle abandoned at the Dunkin' Donuts, at Spring Hill Drive and Mariner Boulevard. Soon after, deputies found the suspect trying to call a taxi at a nearby Circle K store, the sheriff's office said.

The woman, Jessenia Marie Colon, 27, admitted trying to cash the check at the bank and was arrested, deputies said. Colon, who is listed as homeless, faces one count of organized scheme to defraud and one count of identity theft. Bail was set at $2,000.

Detectives contacted both victims and found out that the checks and identification were recently stolen while they were pumping gas in Pasco and Hillsborough counties.

Detectives are looking for two other suspects who were with Colon at the bank.

Tampa police detectives are still looking for suspects in several purse thefts, where the perpetrator takes items from vehicles while the drivers are pumping gas. At least eight were reported in the city and several others in Hillsborough County.

Police have a warrant for Justin Seebech, 22, related to a purse theft July 18 at 1312 E. Busch Blvd. His warrant is for auto burglary and petit theft. Detectives believe he is working with other suspects.

Several more cases were reported to authorities in and around Tampa.

Police reminded drivers to be careful at gas stations. They have been encouraged to lock their cars and take their keys, especially when going inside the store.

Anyone with information on the aforementioned cases is asked to call the Tampa Police Department at (813) 276-3200.


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