Cops: Mother-son duo burglarized several businesses

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — A mother and son burglary duo are behind bars after detectives say they burglarized numerous businesses around Pinellas County, Florida.

According to an affidavit, Donna Hellems, 55, and her son, Jason Hellems, 34, were arrested Thursday and charged with scheme to defraud.

Deputies said Hellems would chauffeur her son around town in the early morning hours.  He would scale the wall or climb fences outside of businesses, break in, steal various items and bring them back to his mother who was waiting in the family’s Jeep.

“Who influencing who? You know what I mean. Is he influencing her or is she influencing him? It’s just horrible,” said Chauncey Ward, of Uncle Tucks Bounce Houses.

Jason Hellems is seen on surveillance ripping off Ward’s business on Belcher Road in April.

“They took four bouncy house blowers and two generators,” he said. “It put a big dent in my pocket because it was Easter.”

He said they both returned last month and grabbed more stuff.

“Took some tables from my business,” said Ward.

Ward took to social media and put the duo on blast.

Alvaro Ortega, the owner of Solo Auto Repair, immediately recognized them.

Ortega said the Hellems broke into his lot on 76th St. N. during Irma.

“We saw him go back and forth taking stuff,” said Ortega.

Thursday morning, deputies observed the pair steal A/C units from a trailer at a business on Belcher Road, before heading off to burglarize two more places.

Their crime spree was thwarted after Jason was caught on camera burglarizing two local shops.  He was seen on video taking a set of 22” wheels from Solo Auto Repair, which he posted online for sale.  He returned to the business to steal an aluminum scaffold from the same shop.  Police later found the scaffold in the Hellem’s backyard.

Investigators said the pair would sell the stolen goods on the app, Offerup.

The Hellems were booked into the Pinellas County Jail on Thursday.

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