Leonard Papania: Port St. Lucie teen charged in connection with three burglaries, suspected of more

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - "What if me and my children were there?" she asked.

She doesn't want to share her identity, for fear of retaliation. She says she's one of nine burglary victims since September 11, near Palm Beach Road in Port St. Lucie.

Detectives arrested her neighbor, Leonard Papania, 18, and accused him of being responsible for at least three of those burglaries. They suspect he's behind more.

"I'm more relieved than angry. I just want people around here to be safe," said the unidentified woman.

Papania is accused of stealing more than $1000 worth of items. He was arrested this morning, after a domestic incident at his home. He's charged with burglary, grand theft and property damage.

 "I wanted to help him," said Papania's father, who's also named Leonard Papania.

The elder Papania says his son got caught up in drugs. He says he wasn't acting like himself some of the time. Now, he wants to apologize to his neighbors, on behalf of his child.  

"I myself am very sorry, and I think if my son was in the right state of mind, he's going to want to apologize to them too," said Papania.

Papania has no plans to bail his son out of the St. Lucie County Jail.

"Everybody who does something has a price to pay," he said.

Detectives think Papania had helpers, but so far, no one else is under arrest.

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