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Homeless pair break into unoccupied home to wash clothes and shower

A Leesburg woman was arrested for breaking into an unoccupied home to wash her clothes and shower.

Jessica Marie Gioia
Jessica Marie Gioia

Police responded to an undisclosed Leesburg address regarding an alarm call for service around 1 a.m. Sunday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department.

Upon arrival, one of the officers noticed a woman, later identified as 32-year-old Jessica Marie Gioia, standing next to a gray Chevrolet passenger car. An unknown man was seen running away from the alarm location toward U.S. Hwy. 27 as the officer approached. Shortly after, another officer arrived and spoke with Gioia while the other responded to the alarm call, the report said.

When asked why she was in the area, Gioia replied she had been looking for her dog which had just been found. She was about to leave the area when the officers showed up. She also stated there was a man with her named “Robert” who came to help find her dog and left on foot once it was found. Due to a lack of evidence at the time, she was released from the scene on her own recognizance, the report said.

It was later determined by other officers at the incident scene that there was an attempted burglary of the leasing office and an adjacent residence. Due to the justifiable suspicion of a crime having been committed and Gioia’s proximity to it with another party, officers began to canvass the nearby area for her vehicle as they investigated and processed the scene, the report said.

Two of the officers discovered a palm print on the back-glass window to the leasing office and on the side window to the residence. They saw entry had been gained to the residence through the back sliding glass door. Additionally, a trail of water and dirt led to the laundry room. The laundry room had water and dirt on the floors, and the washing machine lid was open, the report said.

The residence was searched for any persons still inside, which came up empty. Within the master bathroom, an officer observed water on the floors, a pair of left-behind socks, unflushed human waste in the toilet, a headlight and a broken glass pipe commonly associated with narcotic use, the report said.

At that point, an officer found Gioia’s vehicle at Midgard Self Storage, located at 27300 Catherine Street in Okahumpka. He saw Gioia leaving her vehicle and entering the woods to a camp she had set up. More officers then entered the woods to make contact with her, the report said.

Once located and detained, Gioia confessed to going to the residence with the man she identified as “Robert.” She advised that she went there to wash her clothes and take a shower. She told Robert where she was going, and he asked if he could join her, to which she agreed, the report said.

Gioia explained that they proceeded to the residence, gained entry and used the facilities within. After washing her clothes, she was going to take a shower but noticed there was no hot water. She and Robert went to the leasing office to gain entry and turn on the hot water. They tried multiple times without success, so they decided to leave the area and were met by law enforcement, the report said.

The New York native was ultimately arrested on charges of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling (no forced entry) and theft (utility of cable services). She was transported to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $6,000 bond.

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