CELEBRATION – Sometimes criminal outfits work in pairs.
That was the case in Osceola County, considering that in the past few days, two students at Celebration High School got arrested after being charged with shooting bullets from a bb gun into a car and nearly injuring the woman behind the wheel, while two adults ended up in jail after detectives say they robbed more than $100,000 in jewelry and other items from a local subdivision.
The Celebration case closed on Thursday, May 17, the day that Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives arrested Max Thomas Taylor, age 13, and Brian Elijah Cano, age 14, and charged both minors with shooting into an occupied car, aggravated battery and criminal mischief.
The investigation had started on April 24, when Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies got a call at 6:20 p.m. from a home on Wilde Drive in Celebration. The woman who had called deputies said she’d been driving on Wilde Drive, heading in the direction of her house, when ”she heard a loud pop and felt something strike her face,’’ noted Twis Lizasuain, the public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the shooting.
The victim didn’t realize it at first, Lizasuain said, but someone had just shot something through her car window.
”She observed her driver side window was shattered and had a hole in the bottom half,’’ Lizasuain said. ”She was not injured during the incident, but turned around to check on her two sons sitting in the back seat. One of her sons got out of the car and began chasing after a possible suspect.’’
The son chased but lost track of the suspect, described as a teenage male. Still, the family was able to provide a detailed description of the teen to deputies.
After investigating the shooting, detectives were able to identify Cano and Taylor, both students at Celebration High School, as the possible suspects.
”After interviewing individuals who had knowledge of the incident, Cano was identified as the shooter and Taylor was identified as being at the scene and withholding information from detectives,’’ Lizasuain said.
Detectives recovered the bb gun used in the shooting, she added, and both teens got booked into the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center.
Two days earlier, on May 15, Osceola County Sheriff’s detectives arrested two adults, Jose Enrique Alicia-Ortiz and Yovany Lee Aponte, and charged them with multiple counts of burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief, following an investigation that started in early May.
Deputies had taken several reports of burglaries at unoccupied homes on Corvette Lane and Coupe Street in the Regal Oaks subdivision.
”One victim reported on May 9 she left her residence, and when she returned, more than $100,000 of jewelry and electronics were missing,’’ Lizasuain said.
But not for long – the homeowner located some of her jewelry the next day, after it got advertised online on the Craig’s List Web site as being for sale at a Winter Park pawn shop.
Detectives interviewed the store’s owner, and were able to use thhe information they got to track down Aponte, who was staying at a local motel.
”Aponte cooperated with the investigation, which led to the second suspect, Alicia-Ortiz,’’ Lizasuain said.
Aponte, 19, of 16858 Sunrise Vista Drive in Clermont, was charged with three counts of grand theft, three counts of attempted burglary to an unoccupied dwelling, three counts of occupied burglary and three counts of criminal mischief.
Alicia-Ortiz, 22, of 1770 Burham Court in Clermont, was charged with six counts of occupied burglary, five counts of criminal mischief and one count of grand theft.
As a result of the investigation, detectives recovered more than $90,000 in stolen property, including jewelry and electronics, Lizasuain said.
On May 15, both suspects were booked into the Osceola County Jail.
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