At approximately 4:50 a.m. on Oct. 6, a concerned resident on Gifford Drive alerted authorities to a possible vehicle burglary in progress. The citizen observed an unknown individual attempting to gain access to their neighbor’s vehicles and promptly contacted the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). The suspect, described as a white male in his twenties with curly hair, was reportedly wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt and was seen riding a bicycle.
The witness continued to provide real-time updates regarding the suspect’s whereabouts, aiding the deputies in their rapid response. Upon arriving at the scene, deputies noticed an open driver’s side door of a vehicle in the driveway of a residence on Gifford Drive. They approached the vehicle and discovered the suspect inside, rummaging through the owner’s belongings.
The suspect was immediately detained and subsequently identified as Nathan Fernandez. During a search, deputies found a small bag in his possession containing various items, including a bottle of prescription medication with someone else’s name on it.
During post-Miranda questioning by detectives, Fernandez admitted to attempting to enter multiple vehicles, although he claimed to have gained access to only one. He also confessed to entering other vehicles in the general vicinity, explaining that he had ridden his bicycle to Gifford Drive to meet a friend. However, Fernandez was unable to provide specific information about his friend, except for mentioning that the friend lived in a gated community. He further stated that he had become lost after dropping his cell phone while riding his bicycle.
Following the investigation, Nathan George Lee Fernandez, 19, was placed under arrest and charged with the following offenses:
Burglary to Conveyance
Attempted Conveyance Burglary (3 counts)
Bond set at $20,000
Detectives are currently conducting further investigations to determine the origin of the miscellaneous items found in Fernandez’s bag, hinting at the possibility of additional charges in the near future. The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office commended the vigilant citizen whose quick thinking and cooperation led to the successful apprehension of the suspect, emphasizing the importance of community involvement in maintaining safety and security.
The HCSO urges residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity promptly, reminding everyone that community collaboration is instrumental in keeping neighborhoods secure.
Hernando County Crime Stoppers can be reached by phone at 1-866-990-TIPS (8477) or **TIPS from a cell phone.