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Homeless woman says she broke into house to find her shoes

Renee Cherry Francois
Renee Cherry Francois

A homeless woman told police she was looking for her shoes when she broke into a Eustis resident’s home Tuesday.

Officers responded to a residential burglary in progress at a home on 603 Kensington Street around 6:30 a.m., according to an arrest report from the Eustis Police Department. With officers on their way to the address, a perimeter was set up with assisting units.

Upon arrival, two officers moved to the rear bedroom window, where 37-year-old Renee Cherrie Francois was suspected to have broken into the home. The window itself was pushed open and laying on the ground, the report said.

One of the officers declared the presence of law enforcement and asked any persons inside the room to announce themselves for safety. The officer peered into the room and noticed an individual moving in the corner, the report said.

The officer then ordered the individual to display their hands, the report said. Francois appeared over the bedframe, at which point the officer recognized her. She was told to show the officers her hands several times to which she replied she was looking for her shoes.

Francois was told not to move, but she disregarded orders and tried to exit the bedroom. She was met by one of the homeowners, who questioned why she was at the residence. At that point, officers came through the front door and spoke to both residents of the home, the report said.

One of the residents advised he was in his bedroom when he heard an excessive amount of banging coming from the rear bedroom. He hid in his room and contacted law enforcement. The second resident stated she heard the noise, too, and hid within her room. It was confirmed that Francois did not have any shoes at the residence, the report said.

Francois was secured for the duration of the officers’ investigation, the report said. Inside the bedroom she entered, the bed was pushed off the wall and the window was on the ground. Physical damage around the window was estimated to be about $50.00.

The Louisiana native was arrested and charged with burglary to an occupied dwelling, criminal mischief and resisting without violence. She was transported to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $17,000.

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