3 suspects busted in Collier County rental scam

Author: Jennifer Jones

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Three people are behind bars accused of trying to scam would-be renters out of hundreds of dollars. All three suspects face charges of burglary and theft.

Only WINK News cameras were rolling as Melaney Mitcheff, Jazzmin Albritton, and Andrew Titone appeared before a Collier County judge.

They’re accused of breaking into a vacant Golden Gate Estates home and trying to rent it out on Craigslist.

“In this case the victims saw that something didn’t seem right to them, so they stopped and did a search on a property appraisers website,” said Sgt. Mark Williamson with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s when they realized the home was in foreclosure.

However the previous day, the victims met the suspects at the home and gave a $100 deposit.

“They were to come back the next day and provide the remainder of the deposit,” said Sgt. Williamson.

When the victims became suspicious they called deputies who busted the trio at the house.

Officials are still trying to figure out how the suspects were able to get a key to the vacant home.

“We don’t have that specific information but it is common in some of these rental scams for the suspects to remove existing locks and put new locks on.”

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