NEWS RELEASE #: 17-015
The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a man after connecting him to multiple burglaries and instances of fraud.
Detectives began their investigation on December 1 with a report of a residential burglary at the 300 block of Cedar Street in Englewood. The victim noted that a Makita rip saw, drill, and several tool accessories were taken and that she suspected her son, James O'Neill, DOB 03/11/92. Using a pawn database, detectives were alerted to items matching the victim's descriptions at a pawn shop in North Port. Detectives were able to confirm that 24-year-old O'Neill was responsible for pawning the items by testing the latent fingerprint left on pawn slip.
On January 3, detectives received a report of a burglary at the Englewood Animal Rescue Sanctuary (EARS) Animal Hospital, where six checks were stolen. When two of the checks were cashed, detectives discovered that O'Neill had cashed the checks at the Publix located at 55 N. Indiana Avenue in Englewood. Store surveillance video confirmed O'Neill used his driver's license to cash one check on January 4 and the other on January 8.
Deputies located and arrested O'Neill on an existing warrant on January 17. He was found with several of EARS's checks and a key to the EARS office in his possession. When questioned, O'Neill admitted to burglarizing EARS using a key he stole from his mom, who worked at EARS prior to the incident.
O'Neill, of 820 Yale Street in Englewood, is charged with two counts of Fraud: Uttering Forged Instrument, Dealing in Stolen Property, Fraud: Giving False Information to a Pawn Shop, Burglary of an Unoccupied Dwelling, Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure, and Failure to Appear: Battery. He remains in custody without bond.