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The Villages
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Berserk Wildwood woman claiming to be kidnapped jailed after burglary report

Melissa Kay Preston

A distraught Wildwood who showed up on a Belleview man’s back porch was jailed Monday morning after a vehicle and two sheds were burglarized.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies responded to a Belleview residence in 11700 block of SE 61st Court, where a man claimed that a woman later identified as 33-year-old Melissa Kay Preston had broken into his unlocked 2015 Dodge pickup truck and two unlocked sheds on his property. He said the woman then fled the scene on foot, a report states.

Deputies then received another call from a resident on the same street who reported that an upset woman was on his back porch. While Preston was being escorted to a patrol vehicle, the victim identified her as the person who had broken into his pickup and sheds, the report says.

During the investigation, a sheriff’s sergeant located a black mesh bag containing various items and a black tire iron near the back porch of the residence where Preston was located. Upon searching through the bag, deputies located the victim’s wallet, which contained his driver’s license, Social Security card and several debit/credit cards with his name on them, the report says.

The victim identified all of the items in the bag, including the tire iron. He said the items were inside the vehicle and the approximate value was $147. The victim also said both of his sheds had been “ransacked” but nothing appeared to be missing, the report says.

The man at the home where Preston was located said his property is fenced in and his two gates were locked. He said Preston woke him up when she knocked on his back door and asked him for a cup of coffee. He said she wanted to come inside “because she had been kidnapped,” the report says, adding that he then called 911 for help.

A computer check showed that Preston had two prior theft convictions. She was found guilty of petit theft on May 22, 2013 and shoplifting on Jan. 8, 2013. She was placed under arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail, the report says.

Preston, who lives at 334 Young Circle in Wildwood, was charged with two counts of unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure, larceny/petit theft (third or subsequent offense) and trespassing. She was being held on $5,500 bond and is due in court June 23 at 9 a.m.

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