OKEECHOBEE — A cleaning woman is accused of stealing car keys, a car and a purse from client in Treasure Island. Samantha Ann Thomas, 36, Southeast 33rd Terrace, was arrested Jan. 15 by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ashley Waskiewicz and charged with grand theft auto. Her bond was set at $2,500. Kenny Lynn Whaley, 48, Southeast 33rd Street, was also arrested and charged with grand theft auto. His bond was set at $2,500 as well.
The original arrest report states Deputy Waskiewicz responded to the home of the complainant on Oct. 8, 2019, at approximately 7 a.m. in response to a call pertaining to a delayed burglary complaint. The complainant explained she had returned home from playing bingo at the Amvets the night before at about 9 p.m. and parked her vehicle, locked the door, went inside and went to sleep.
When she got up in the morning, she could not find her purse, with all her bank cards, food stamp card and $250 cash, in the kitchen where she had left it. When she walked outside, she saw her vehicle was missing. She said she had not given anyone permission to take the vehicle, but thought she might know who had it. She had hired Samantha Thomas the day before to help her clean her patio and had given her a key to the house so she could get in. She believed she or her boyfriend Kenny Whaley might have taken it.
After a search, a key to one of the doors was found in the road in front of the complainant’s home.
Later in the morning, it was confirmed that $800 had been taken from the complainant’s bank account. One of the complainant’s cards was also used to purchase gas, and when video surveillance was checked the store manager said she knew the person who used the card well. “I know the female very well. Her boyfriend is Kevin Whaley,” she said.
On Oct. 9, they were both arrested at the Seminole Gaming Casino in Immokalee which is in Collier County, but the charges were dismissed by Assistant State Attorney Wilson, who agreed Okeechobee would file the charges.
On Dec. 27, Deputy Ben Vuleta was able to speak with Whaley and Thomas about the case, and they both reportedly stated they were in the car together.
On Jan. 15, the complainant informed Deputy Waskiewicz she had entered a civil agreement with Thomas to get her money and belongings returned to her, but she still wished to pursue charges for the theft of her vehicle.