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Crime & Courts

Shoplifting suspect who dove into pond turned in by relative

TBO.com staff
Published:   |   Updated: December 11, 2013 at 09:58 AM

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TAMPA – A woman suspected of shoplifting at University Mall and fleeing authorities by jumping into a pond was arrested late Tuesday after a relative recognized her from a surveillance image.

Kenia K. Lee, 20, of 1713 E. Idell St., Apt. A, faces a charge of petit theft and violation of probation.

On Tuesday afternoon, two employees of the Burlington Coat Factory caught a woman trying to remove merchandise from the store, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office. The woman then broke free and ran outside toward a nearby pond at the mall, at 2200 E. Fowler Ave.

The employees followed her until she entered the pond and went in about chest deep, deputies said. The workers turned away, and when they looked back the woman couldn't be found.

The sheriff's office was called, and a search of the pond was called off Tuesday night when divers did not find any sign of the woman.

As part of the investigation, a store surveillance photo of the suspect was released to the media. Late Tuesday, a relative of Lee recognized her and took her to a sheriff's patrol office. She was arrested at 11:50 p.m. and booked at the Orient Road Jail with no bail set, according to jail records.

The probation violation stems from a trespassing/larceny arrest on May 22, according to jail records.

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