A Bonne Terre woman is facing felony charges after allegedly breaking into a Farmington residence hours after being released from jail for a separate alleged burglary.
Roberta Pruitte, 47, was charged Monday in St. Francois County with second-degree burglary and felony stealing ($750 or more).
According to a probable cause statement from the Farmington Police Department, an officer was dispatched to the 1600 block of Doubet Lane Friday in reference to a burglary no longer in progress.
The officer made contact with a woman who said someone had broken into her residence.
The woman said that she returned to the residence around 3:55 p.m. Once inside, she said she noticed items had been moved and placed where she would not have put them. She said there was a black pair of men's slide sandals near the front door that did not belong to anyone in her household.
In the master bedroom, clothes were pulled out of drawers, and items were on the floor. She located a black bag of hers in the bathroom with items in it that were not there before.
The bag reportedly contained a pack of Decade 100's cigarettes and a community resource booklet with a business card attached.
The woman also reported that she had two bottles of hydrocodone, and one was missing.
While speaking with the homeowner, the officer received a call to check the well-being of a person in the area of Jenny Court, where reports had been made regarding a woman not wearing shoes.
The officer arrived in the area of Jenny Court and made contact with a female not wearing shoes, identified as Pruitte.
Pruitte told the officer she had just been released from the St. Francois County Jail.
The officer asked Pruitte where her shoes were, and she said she had taken them off because they were her husband's shoes and kept slipping off her feet as they were too big.
Pruitte said she did not have any identification, so the officer ran a MULES/NCIC inquiry, which revealed that she had a non-extraditable warrant through the State of Florida for three counts of grand theft.
A records check revealed Pruitte had just been arrested earlier that day by a St. Francois County deputy in Lake Timberline for burglary. The report indicated that Pruitte was booked and released from jail at 1:30 p.m. on the earlier charges.
The officer then spoke with the woman whose business card was attached to the paperwork found at the burglarized Doubet Lane residence.
The woman was informed that Farmington Police were working a burglary case and located a blue booklet with her card attached. The officer asked her if she had handed the card out to anyone. The woman said she was at the St. Francois County Jail between noon and 1 p.m., where she spoke to Pruitte about her mental health and provided her with a booklet of resources available in St. Francois County.
Pruitte was then detained and read her Miranda rights. Pruitte said she understood and was willing to talk to the officer, who asked her what kind of sandals she was wearing.
Pruitte said they were men's slide-on sandals that just go over the foot. The officer then asked her if she went to anyone's house in the area, to which she answered, stating that she went to a house on Doubet Lane but did not know the address and did not go inside.
The officer asked if anyone had given her any paperwork, and Pruitte said she was given some blue paperwork. Pruitte reportedly told the officer the name of the woman who gave her the paperwork, and it was the same name printed on the card found at the residence.
Pruitte also said she didn't know where her cigarettes were, but they were wrapped in the blue paperwork she was given at the jail.
Pruitte was again booked into the St. Francois County Jail and a $20,000 cash or surety bond was set for her release.
When the officer went back to get a statement from the homeowner on Doubet Lane, the resident said that after looking around, she noticed she was missing a diamond engagement ring valued at $7,500.
The officer remembered noticing Pruitte wearing rings while speaking with her, and that the rings had been placed in her property at the jail. The officer then returned to the jail and asked to see the property for Pruitte, which contained the described ring.
The ring was seized and taken back to the Doubet Lane residence where the homeowner identified it as her engagement ring.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Pruitte was still in custody at the St. Francois County Jail. If released on the $20,000 cash or surety bond, Pruitte is ordered to register for pre-trial supervision and prohibited from contacting the victims in this case.
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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