House guest accused of stealing car

OKEECHOBEE — After he allowed two people to spend the night in his home, two people allegedly thanked the 78-year-old man by stealing his car and his money. On Dec. 8 at approximately 3:15 a.m., Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Joel Lacerte responded to a call in reference to a stolen vehicle complaint. The owner of the car explained he had gone to bed earlier and had left a pair of shorts on the floor of his room. He said he had $950 in the pocket of the shorts and planned to use the money to pay his rent. He also had a phone and car keys in the pocket. He said when he woke up, the items in the shorts were gone and so was his car.

Brandon Pitt

He explained he had allowed Brandon Pitt and a female friend, Abigail, to stay at his house overnight, but they had their own room and were not allowed in his room without permission. He said when he woke up, they were gone. He said he believed they were the only people capable of taking the car and the other items.

At approximately 5:15 a.m., Deputy Ben Vuleta returned to the home because the car, along with Brandon Pitt and Abigail, had returned.

Pitt, 27, Okeechobee, was arrested Dec. 8 by OCSO Deputy Joel Lacerte and charged with grand theft auto and grand theft. Bond was set at $15,000.

Pitt claimed that when he was detained, he was slammed and dragged down the street. He also said when he woke up in his jail cell, his face was covered in blood, but according to Deputy Lacerte, he saw no evidence of marks or redness on Pitt’s face.

The investigation is ongoing.

Cathy Womble is a staff writer for the Lake Okeechobee News.

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