Deputies: Florida couple shot themselves, staged home invasion for insurance money

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 3:00 PM

Couple Allegedly Shot Themselves, Staged Home Invasion to Collect Insurance Money

Investigators in Volusia County, Florida, said a couple shot themselves as part of an elaborate, fabricated story about a home invasion.

Sheriff Mike Chitwood said it was all part of a plan to get thousands of dollars from the company that manages their rental home.

>> Read more trending news

Deputies surrounded the Hayward Avenue home in Deltona on Oct. 26 in search of two men that the couple said had busted a sliding glass door and shot the two people inside.

Chitwood said the neighborhood was put on edge needlessly.

“They make up this story to create a scam so they can sue the homeowner because he wouldn’t fix a locked door,” Chitwood said. “In the process of doing that, they put fear and panic in the city of Deltona.”

Investigators said Lindsey Pelton, 36, and Doug Teixeira, 35, shot themselves, staged the crime scene and tried to clean things up.

Chitwood said deputies found dry blood and the smell of bleach when they went inside the home.

"We found a .22-caliber gun hidden. When they were confronted, they said, ‘Oh yeah, yeah, the home invaders didn't bring their own gun. They got ahold of our gun.’ I mean, the story just fell apart and it stunk from the very beginning."

Deputies said the couple claimed to have been in the shower when masked intruders came in, but authorities determined that the shower and bath mat were dry. According to a report, a TV was lying on the floor but wasn’t damaged.

Deputies also said surveillance video in the area did not show anyone entering the home.

>> Read more Floridoh! stories 

The couple told deputies a small safe with $7,000 and jewelry inside was stolen from the home, but deputies spoke to the couple’s family members, who said the couple has no money and Pelton’s father was paying for their living expenses.

People who live in the neighborhood were relieved to find out the story about the home invasion wasn't true.

"Honestly, I'm disappointed. Isn't it easier to get a job than try to commit insurance fraud?” said a neighbor, who asked not to be identified.

Pelton and Teixeira will face a judge Wednesday afternoon.

They are facing charges of providing false information to law enforcement officers, which is a misdemeanor charge.

Teixeira is also facing a charge of tampering with evidence.

Woman pulled over by man impersonating law enforcement officer

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 4:47 PM



Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto
(Chalabala/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A man impersonating a law enforcement officer pulled over a woman in Arkansas, according to the St. Francis County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident happened Saturday on Highway 38 near Hughes.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators said a man impersonating a game and fish officer stopped a woman and asked to check her vehicle for guns. He had a blue light on his dash and was in a dark-colored pickup truck.

The man did not show the woman a badge or a weapon. The incident happened during the daytime hours and appears to have been an isolated occurrence.

Investigators said they believe they know who the man is, but no arrests were immediately made.

Officials said the impersonator is not the same one who stopped people earlier this year.

Mother accused of using kids to steal from Macy’s, police say

Published: Wednesday, November 22, 2017 @ 3:58 PM

Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.
Austin Police Department
Authorities in Austin, Texas, are searching for Martha Monique Lopez, 27, in connection with a shoplifting incident on Nov. 12, 2017.(Austin Police Department)

Police in Austin, Texas, are looking for a woman who they say stole merchandise from a Macy’s department store with the help of another woman and four children no older than 10 years old.

>> Read more trending news

Investigators are looking for 27-year-old Martha Monique Lopez, who is charged with robbery by assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed this week.

On Nov. 12, police received a call around 2 p.m. from a store employee who watches for shoplifters at the Macy’s in the Domain shopping center. She told police she was watching the children, who were between 7 and 10 years old, through a security camera. According to the affidavit, they re-entered the store and met two women near the hotel bedding and pillow area.

The store worker told police that she saw the women point to some pillows, which the children then picked up before they “exited the store past the last point of purchase without attempting to pay for the items,” the affidavit said. The worker said in the affidavit that she confronted the children and identified herself as a Macy’s employee, after which point she said the children complied and started to come back with her to a store office.

The employee told police that as they were going back to the office, the two women approached her and one of them told her to let the children go and then pushed her, according to the affidavit. The other woman and the children began running away, the employee told police. She tried to grab the children, but the “female who told her to let her children go began to punch (her) on the left side of her face, chest and left arm with a closed fist causing (her) pain and redness,” the affidavit said.

The employee told police that she “tried to grab the female to detain her but the female took off running and (she) ripped (the woman’s) shirt off of her and the female ran out of the store wearing just a black bra,” the affidavit said.

A customer saw the woman running from the store and saw her and the children get into a white 2009 Chevy Malibu with a Texas license plate that matched a car registered to Lopez, according to the affidavit. Lopez was also identified by the store worker from a photo taken during a previous arrest, police said.

Tennessee State football player arrested after video shows him punching coach, police say

Published: Tuesday, November 21, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

College Football Player Expelled For Punching Coach

A Tennessee State University football player who was kicked off the team and expelled after he was caught on video punching his assistant coach earlier this month has been arrested in connection with the attack, according to police.

>> Read more trending news

Jail records show Latrelle Lee, 22, was arrested Monday night. He was charged with one count of aggravated assault causing serious bodily injury and released on a $7,500 bond later Monday, according to The Tennessean.

A July 30, 2017, photo provided by Tennessee State University shows college football player Latrelle Lee, a 22-year old defensive end. TSU athletics director Teresa Phillips said Lee was kicked off the team and expelled Monday, Nov. 13, for hitting head strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head, knocking him to the turf on the sideline during a game against Southeast Missouri on Saturday, Nov. 11. (Tennessee State University via AP)(AP)

Police told told WKRN that Lee hit a coach in the face multiple times during a game against Southeast Missouri State University at Hale Stadium. Video of the Nov. 11 incident appeared to show Lee punching Tigers strength coach T.J. Greenstone twice in the head and knocking him to the ground on the sideline.

"Once struck about the face by the defendant, the victim fell to the ground and was dazed and somewhat unconscious from the punches," officers said in an arrest affidavit obtained by The Tennessean. "The victim has subsequently been having medical difficulties as a result from the altercation."

>> Related: Tennessee State player expelled after punching coach on sideline

The attack happened as Greenstone was walking down the sideline to ensure players who weren’t on the field were far enough away to avoid a penalty, The Tennessean reported.

In a statement released to WKRN after the incident, Tennessee State athletics director Teresa Phillps condemned the attack.

“We are committed to supporting the coach who was personally affected and our concern is now with him,” she said.

Police: Man swipes keys off store counter, steals manager's car, guns

Published: Saturday, November 18, 2017 @ 1:05 PM

Superior store manager T. Ginem says a thief stole his car and other valuable merchandise.
Fox13Memphis.com
Superior store manager T. Ginem says a thief stole his car and other valuable merchandise.(Fox13Memphis.com)

A business owner was helping a customer when a man grabbed his keys and stole his car and guns Thursday. 

The alleged thief also got away with thousands of dollars worth of merchandise, the manager told Fox13Memphis.com.

Superior’s store manager, T. Ginem, was helping a customer when the crime took place.

"While our attention was towards the other customers, [the man] reached over the counter and took the keys," Ginem said.

The incident was caught on a security camera. 

On the surveillance video, one of Ginem’s employees is seen walking into the store and setting the car keys on the counter.

Minutes later, a man snags them from the counter and takes off. 

>> Read more trending news

"He power walked out of here. We didn't realize the vehicle was gone until half an hour later,” Ginem said. 

The man can be seen on outdoor surveillance camera video hopping into the car and speeding off. The manager was not just upset with the car being stolen, he also had thousands of dollars in merchandise taken along with multiple guns.

"I had an AK-47, a 9 mm, and a 40 mm,” Ginem said.

This year, more guns have been stolen from cars than any other location.

According to Memphis Police Department numbers obtained by Fox13Memphis.com, in June and July alone, there were more than 100 guns stolen each month in the city.

"[I’m] extremely worried about the guns, man, because you don't want them in the wrong hands,” Ginem said.

A quick crime map of the area surrounding the store revealed eight carjackings and roughly 100 auto thefts in the last two months.

Ginem said multiple people have already told him who committed the theft.

"He just recently got out of jail. He has nothing to lose,” he said.

Memphis police are now trying to make an arrest.

Ginem said he is going to be thinking about the whole ordeal for a while.

"We are looking at least $12,000 [lost], so it is going to hurt my pocket, but it's a lesson learned,” he said.

Fox13Memphis.com was unable to confirm the suspect’s identity with police but authorities are asking for the public's assistance. Anyone with information about where the man is, or where the stolen items are located, is asked to call police.

Ginem said he is offering a $1,000 reward to the person who leads police to an arrest.