WINDERMERE — Suzy Fitzpatrick really went to bat for her husband when police said he was caught on camera perpetrating a home invasion in Windermere.
“That can’t be my husband,” the 25-year-old told police. “That time, we was at a swingers club.”
The robbery occurred on August 20th at about 1:50 in the morning. Surveillance showed two men entering the home—one with a rifle—and leaving with 65” flatscreen TV, 5 monitors and a laptop.
Police received tips that pointed them in the direction of John Fitzpatrick, 32, who owns and operates a cell phone repair shop with wife Suzy in Winter Garden.
According to Suzy, she and her husband were living it up at the “Ranch 4 Play” swingers club at the time of the burglary.
The alibi had the benefit of being an admission that could be seen as embarrassing or—at the very least—personal, and therefore less likely to be made up.
Not content to leave it at that, Suzy soon veered into territory that strained her credibility past the breaking point, claiming that she and John went to their shop after the leaving the club, at which point they were kidnapped by armed men and forced to commit the Windermere robbery (that she had previously said took place while they were still at the swingers club).
Since armed kidnapping is generally seen as far more serious a crime than the theft of a television, one wonders why the gunmen didn’t simply cut out the middlemen and rob the Windermere residence themselves.
The answer, of course, is that the gunmen weren’t real, and John and another man committed the robbery on their own, with Suzy parked in a getaway vehicle nearby, according to police.
John backed up Suzy’s version of events, but after her own arrest, she finally admitted the truth to detectives, who never bought her cockamamie story in the first place.
“That’s when she told the truth,” confirmed Detective John Allen, “that they weren’t kidnapped, and it was all made up.”
Lest John F. be mistaken for a capable criminal who was merely undermined by his wife’s tall tales, it should be noted that he sported a very long, bushy and distinctive beard, and did nothing to hide it or his face during the course of the robbery. He did, however, shave the beard after the heat was on in order to alter his appearance, which might more credibly have been altered on the front end of the crime rather than the back end.
According to police, they have the identity of John’s and Suzy’s accomplice, who will no doubt also be in custody soon. It seems unlikely that any of the trio will be enjoying swingers clubs again anytime in the near future.