Ken Suarez reports
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – Detectives say a receipt that was dropped at a crime scene could be the piece of evidence that closes a mysterious burglary case in Winter Haven.
In mid-November, someone broke into a lakefront home just off Havendale Boulevard and presumably stayed the night.
"You can’t just break into someone’s house and take up residence," Winter Haven Police Department spokeswoman Jamie Brown said.
However, when the intruders left, they unknowingly left behind a receipt which detectives used to pull surveillance images of the possible burglars.
Winter Haven home burglarized twice in several months
Detectives traced the receipt to a nearby Murphy gas station. A surveillance camera there snapped a photo of the two people who made the purchase.
Fast-forward to the day before New Year’s Eve; the home was broken into again. This time the owner was prepared.
After the first burglary, a neighbor offered to help by installing a surveillance camera.
Police say the camera captured pictures of Shannon Noel and Christina Boyles, who are both struggling with homelessness.
Shannon Noel and Christina Boyles, accused in one burglary and possibly a second back in November
The pair was allegedly trying to take plumbing, copper, and electrical items from the home to sell for scrap metal, which could be worth $8,000, but the total damage to the home is much more, investigators say.
They were arrested and booked into the Polk County jail.
Now detectives are trying to figure out if Noel and Boyles are the people in the gas station photos, and if they broke into the house the first time.
The answer could be on the receipt, which local investigators have shipped off to the state lab to test for DNA.
"We’re just hoping that something comes back from the crime lab that will ultimately put them in that residence for that case," said Brown.
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Ken Suarez reports