There was no sweet ending for a teen accused of stealing cash from the Crumbl Cookie bakery at 7069 Coastal Blvd. in the Coastal Plaza in Brooksville.
The investigation into the theft began on July 20, when detectives from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) began their probe into a burglary that took place at the Crumbl Cookie bakery.
Evidence found at the scene revealed that the burglar used a side door to enter the bakery, then went directly to the safe and cash register to remove the cash located there.
The suspected burglar was described as wearing a black sweatshirt, black pants, and red Crocs footwear. He was also seen wearing a black face mask and carrying a brown and black backpack.
Later, the bakery’s manager told detectives that the possible burglar fit the description of Jacob Ortega, 18, a former employee who wore red Crocs and carried a brown and black backpack while he worked at the establishment.
Meanwhile, video footage obtained from other businesses in the area showed a vehicle in the immediate area at the time of the incident.
Investigators caught up with the vehicle’s owner at his home on Aug. 1. He told investigators that Ortega called him around 2 a.m. on July 20, asking for a ride to the Coastal Plaza so that he could make a drug deal there. The owner of the vehicle subsequently drove Ortega to the shopping plaza and later picked him up at the Home Goods store.
He also told detectives that Ortega said he had taken money from the Crumbl Cookie and stashed some of it inside the vehicle for the owner to “hang onto.”
With the owner’s permission, detectives found the cash in the vehicle’s glove box and took it into evidence.
They caught up with Ortega that same day.
During his interview with them, Ortega admitted that he used door, safe, and cash register codes that he’d been given during his employment to enter the bakery and take the cash.
After committing the burglary, Ortega told investigators that he met up with his friend near the Home Goods store and was driven back to his residence.
He also told detectives that he spent most of the money on food and alcohol for himself and his friends and stashed the rest in his friend’s vehicle.
Detectives subsequently arrested Ortega and booked him into the Hernando County Detention Center on charges of burglary of a structure, grand theft, and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
The investigation into the case is ongoing.
Anyone with information about the case should call Hernando County Crime Stoppers at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or text **TIPS from a cell phone. Visit Tipsters may also visit http://www.hernandocountycrimestoppers.com.
All tips to Crime Stoppers are anonymous.