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The Villages
Saturday, June 15, 2024

Villager arrested after trying to peek into neighbor’s lanai

Mary Laura Welch
Mary Laura Welch

A Villager was arrested after allegedly trying to peek into her neighbor’s lanai.

Mary Laura Welch, 72, of the Village of Fenney, has been charged with trespassing as a result of unwanted visits to her neighbor’s property on Sand Pine Terrace.

She was arrested on a warrant this past week charging her with trespassing. The arrest stems from an incident in January when Welch was caught on video surveillance on her neighbor’s property. Welch “attempted to look into the screened lanai” of the home, according to an arrest report from the Wildwood Police Department. The homeowner told police she “does not feel safe” and fears that Welch will “escalate her behavior as time goes on.” At the time of the most-recent incident, a long-standing trespass order against Welch was in place at the neighbor’s home.

It’s been an issue that dates back to 2022 when Welch was placed on probation for trespassing at the neighbor’s home. At the time, the increasingly worried neighbor had enrolled in the Home Watch program through Community Watch. The service provides property checks when a homeowner is out of town. When Community Watch personnel went to check on the neighbor’s home, Welch was caught on  surveillance asking the Community Watch driver, “Is her doorknob in good condition?” The neighbor told police she believed it was a part of an ongoing pattern of intimidation by Welch, who also left a note for her, ordering her to “liquidate” her property.

As a result of that incident, Welch was placed on probation for one year and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

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