Police allege woman drove getaway car in North Palm Beach home invasion

NORTH PALM BEACH, Fla. - A suburban West Palm Beach woman was arrested Wednesday after police alleged she was the getaway driver during a home invasion last month.

Leah Robin Schmidt, 28, is facing charges for two felonies - home invasion without a firearm and fleeing and eluding law-enforcement officers, village police said.

According to an arrest report, Schmidt waited in the car March 27 while an accomplice broke into a home in the 600 block of Southwind Circle.

The alleged accomplice, Jay R. Curtis, 31, of suburban Lake Worth, was arrested March 28 after police said he shot a 47-year-old man inside the residence, then held the man's wife at gunpoint and forced her to give him cash and a handgun.

The gunshot victim was struck by a bullet that went through his right arm and entered the right side of his body. His wife suffered scrapes and cuts as she later tried to flee from Curtis, the report said. Both the man and his wife were taken to St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, the report said.

Police responding to the scene observed a Ford pickup that looked suspicious, the report said. An officer turned on his marked patrol car's emergency lights, but the pickup driver accelerated and crashed into the officer's vehicle, the report said. The driver continued to flee, eluding the patrol car on Northlake Boulevard.

Authorities later found the truck in West Palm Beach. Schmidt, Curtis and the man who owned the pickup went to the village police department for questioning.

The truck's owner told police he was intimidated into letting Curtis borrow the truck. Indications are he was not at the scene of the home invasion.

Schmidt said she went with Curtis to the Applebee's restaurant on Northlake Boulevard at about 8:30 that evening. She said Curtis briefly took the truck while she stayed at the restaurant.

But a bartender told police the two did not arrive until nearly two hours later. That time frame put them at the restaurant about 20 minutes after the crash with the police vehicle, the report said.

It was reasonable to conclude Schmidt was in the pickup during the crime and in fact was the driver, the arrest report said.


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