A convicted felon being sought on hit and run charges was arrested Thursday after a Hernando County Sheriff's Office employee spotted him while on her way to work.
David Ryan Franco, 31, was arrested and booked into the Hernando County Jail where he is being held without bond. He is facing a variety of charges including leaving the scene of a crash involving damage and operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver's license.
A female in his company was also arrested on burglary charges. Rachael Jackson, 30, was booked into the Hernando County Jail where she is being held on a bond of $2,000.
Investigators say she is responsible for a string of golf cart battery thefts.
According to a Hernando County Sheriff's Office report Nichole Edwards, an administrative assistant to the department's Chief Deputy, was driving to work when she spotted a man matching the description of a suspect in a recent hit and run case.
Edwards had recalled the victim in the case said the suspect had ‘tattoos all over his face.' Franco was also in a vehicle that matched the description of the one in the hit and run case.
A deputy was dispatched to Cortez Blvd. and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Franco and Jackson were both arrested without incident.
Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhaus says the arrests illustrate the teamwork within his department at all levels.
"I often mention, when speaking to groups of citizens, what a great team I have here at the Sheriff's Office," Nienhaus said. "Most citizens, however, probably don't realize how seriously everyone at this office takes their role in crime fighting. Although it is easy to see the part a Patrol Deputy or Detective plays in an arrest, the support personnel are no less important in the process."
Investigators say the vehicle involved in the hit and run crash is registered to Jackson. It was impounded for possible involvement in other crimes.
Franco has an extensive arrest record in Hernando County and was already on felony probation at the time of this arrest. He has served one stint in state prison for a drug-related conviction in 2009.
His prior arrests include charges of burglary, drug possession, larceny and retail theft.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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