A woman robbed a man in Louisiana after the pair met online and she gained his trust, getting away with $4,500 worth of items, police said, before she was arrested in another state.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s detectives arrested Jessica Penton, of Mississippi, after they say she gained a man’s trust and robbed him when he left the house for work.
The man contacted the sheriff’s office on Sept. 8 and said someone he knew stole an AR-15, a laptop, computer equipment, a camera and an Xbox from his home. He said he met the woman, Penton, online and let her stay at his place.
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After an investigation, deputies found out she lived in Magnolia, Mississippi. With help from the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, deputies found her on Sept. 12.
Police had to chase Penton before arresting her after she wrecked the Chevrolet pick-up truck she was driving, police said. Both the pickup and a gun found inside the vehicle were reported stolen in Mississippi, police said.
Police said Penton also had the stolen AR-15 in the truck when she was arrested, in addition to another weapon that was in her possession.
Investigators also found other items reported stolen in Louisiana when they searched Penton’s residence in Mississippi, police said.
Penton faces several charges for the incidents in Mississippi and will be taken back to St. Tammany Parish for felony theft charges, officials said.
St. Tammany Parish Sheriff Randy Smith said in a news release that “unfortunately, there are people out there who like to prey on other individuals.”
“Please be cautious when meeting people online and allowing them into your home,” he said.
Saleen Martin is a reporter on USA TODAY’s NOW team. She is from Norfolk, Virginia – the 757 – and loves all things horror, witches, Christmas, and food. Follow her on Twitter at @Saleen_Martin or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.