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MARATHON, October 30, 2019 – A Middle Keys woman with a lengthy Monroe County arrest history is off to state prison after pleading out to theft-related and other charges against her.
Tanya Rego, 32, was sentenced October 24 by Acting Monroe County Circuit Court Judge Ruth Becker to 30 months in custody after Rego pleaded no contest to grand theft, uttering a forged instrument and forgery in one case and grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card in another. She also admitted to violating probation imposed in three other cases. Assistant State Attorney Kelly Dugan represented the state.
Instead of prison, Rego’s defense attorney sought to have her placed in a residential addiction-treatment program, but Dugan said “she’s not just hurting herself; she’s stealing from other people.” The judge agreed (Rego has been through drug-offender probation before).
In one case from August 2018, Rego stole a check from a Middle Keys business owner’s truck, made it out to herself for $800, forged the business owner’s signature on it and cashed it at Centennial Bank.
In a recorded telephone call Rego made on August 27, 2018, to the business owner from the Monroe County Detention Center, where she was being held on other charges, Rego initially told the business owner someone else gave her the check and she understood it was to “help her out.” But she later admitted to taking the check, forging it and cashing it.
In another case, the same business owner reported to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office on September 18, 2018, that someone was using his Bealls Outlet charge card without his permission. A surveillance video from the Marathon Bealls from August 23, 2018, shows Rego and a man checking out $443.95 worth of items using the charge card. The same day, she used the card to purchase another $329.80 worth of merchandise and then used the card again to buy $327.81 worth of goods.
That evening, Sheriff’s Office deputies found her in a Marathon hotel room that was “littered with Bealls shopping bags, perfumes and handbags that were seen on the Bealls videos.” Rego was wearing the same clothes she was in in the videos, and had the same purse she had when the Bealls purchases were made.
The violations of probation stem from cases in 2018, 2017 and 2016.
On June 11, 2018, Rego pleaded no contest to grand theft $5,000 to $10,000 for breaking into a Key Colony Beach house on January 25 that year and stealing dozens of pieces of jewelry that the owners later identified for police as theirs. Judge Becker placed her on 36 months of probation.
That same day, Judge Becker also gave her 36 months of probation after Rego pleaded no contest to battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest without violence, and disorderly conduct stemming from an incident on April 25, 2017, on 2nd Avenue in Marathon.
On December 22, 2016, Circuit Court Judge Mark Jones sentenced Rego to 24 months of probation after she pleaded no contest to possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia on Big Pine Key.