Mom, daughters allegedly used foreclosure notice to steal homeowner's property

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A mother and her two daughters were arrested after Orange County deputies said they planned a scheme that left a homeowner with an empty house.

Charlene Benbow and her daughters, Tateanna Benbow and Ashley Benbow, bonded out of the Orange County Jail Monday night.

Investigators said the trio was able to steal everything from an unsuspecting man's condominium after seeing his foreclosure letter.

"I saw this lady walking around here and I said 'May I help you?'" neighbor Jone Jarvis said.

Jarvis said she first spotted Charlene Benbow and her daughters when they were looking at her neighbor's front door.

"She was looking here because there was a note on this door," Jarvis said.

The note on the door was a foreclosure notice and it listed his name, the bank's name and a phone number. According to an arrest affidavit, the women used the information in the letter to pose as current renters of the condo. They claimed to need money from the foreclosure agent in order to move out, the affidavit states.

Meanwhile, deputies said the Benbows began stealing items after being able to get inside the condo. Resident Vicki Penilla told WFTV she saw people carrying items to a U-Haul truck at 1 a.m.

"She said, 'Well we're from the bank and we're going to clean up this place,'" Penilla said.

"I mean, washer and dryer coming down the steps. Woke me up," Jarvis said.

The alert neighbors decided to call deputies, who waited to catch the women when they returned to pick up a check from the foreclosure agent, according to investigators.

"The cops were hiding over there and those three big mamas pulled up," Jarvis said.

The homeowner told Channel 9 he was able to get most his items back after they were found at the women's home. It's unclear if the suspects have pulled off similar alleged crimes in the past, deputies said.

The suspects didn't want to talk to Eyewitness News when they bonded out of jail. One of the daughters said she wasn't sorry because the situation was a misunderstanding.

The women were charged with grand theft, burglary of a dwelling and criminal mischief.