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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Island teens arrested for occupied burglary

On May 9 at approximately 6:30 a.m. a resident on 78th Street awoke to find two people in his home. Two Island teens, Adam Arling, 16, of Bradenton Beach and Alicia Sportelli, 17, of Anna Maria, were arrested for occupied burglary, a second-degree felony, although the case is still under investigation.

According to the report, a man called Holmes Beach Police after he was awakened by two unknown persons in his bedroom. He reported that the suspects fled the scene with his wallet.

Holmes Beach Officer Chip Frappier examined the scene and found two points of attempted entry. First was a window screen that was removed on the beach side of the residence, but furniture was blocking the window from the inside.

According to Frappier, a second window screen next to the back door was removed and access to the home gained by unlocking the partially opened window.

Arling and Sportelli, who fit the description of the intruders, were observed by police waiting for a bus on 79th Street, but police determined they were not in possession of the wallet and allowed them to leave.

Shortly after officers cleared the scene, the owner found his wallet in a stormdrain on the corner of Palm Drive and 79th Street, directly across from the bus stop where Arling and Sportelli were initially questioned.

Holmes Beach Detective Terri Davis said Frappier's investigation followed leads back to Sportelli and Arling.

Davis said her department worked in conjunction with Sgt. John Kinney at the Manatee County Sheriff's Office substation because both departments were investigating similar cases.

Davis said Sportelli's mother was notified her daughter was suspected of a crime and she was brought to the sheriff's substation in Anna Maria for an interview.

Arling was apprehended in Anna Maria and brought to the Holmes Beach Police Department for questioning. Davis said there have been 20 residential burglaries in Holmes Beach since October, but Sportelli and Arling have not been charged with any other crimes.

Both are charged with the 78th Street burglary.

In another matter, Holmes Beach Police arrested Julio Gomez and Lorenzo Ribalta of Tampa on outstanding warrants. Gomez was being sought by Miami/Dade County for failure to pay child support and Hillsborough County sought Ribalta for failure to pay traffic citations.

Holmes Beach Police were contacted by an anonymous caller reporting two men acting suspiciously in the parking lot of the Manatee Public Beach, where there have been several vehicle burglaries.

According to the report, the two men were observed by the caller carrying a slim-jim-type tool.

Holmes Beach Officer Chip Frappier and Lt. Dale Stephenson responded to the scene and observed the suspects. Frappier followed the men as they were leaving to make a routine traffic stop and during a background check was advised of the outstanding warrants.