Falling ceiling tiles help deputies find wanted woman

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 16, 2011

By Nathan Hardin
ROCKWELL — A Rockwell woman was arrested Monday after deputies found her hiding from authorities in the attic of her home.
According to a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office report, Roberta Darlene Billotte was arrested at her 160 Happy Hollow Road home in Rockwell. Authorities were searching for the woman after her mother filed 20 felony charges against her.
The report said Jeff Lynn Moss, her boyfriend, told authorities, when they arrived with warrants for the 37-year-old, that she was at her mother’s Johnson Dairy Road house and was not home.
Authorities then spoke with Billotte’s mother, who told deputies that “if Moss was at the residence, then Roberta was there, too.”
When deputies returned, Moss continued to tell them that she was not there, but did allow them to search the residence.
According to the report, officers were checking the bedroom when a ceiling tile fell. As deputies watched, more tiles continued to fall, along with insulation.
Authorities told Billotte to come down and she did without incident.
Moss was charged with resisting, obstructing and delaying an officer. He was arrested and has been released after posting bond.
According to the report, Billotte was wanted for 20 counts of using her mother’s child support credit card.
Her mother, Iris Boucher, told authorities that she never received the card, which was mailed to her, but that the card had been used.
Boucher told authorities, according to the report, that she suspected her daughter of taking it because she has a “history of taking things from her.”
Deputies obtained copies of the card’s transaction history, as well as footage from ATM cameras where the card had been used.
The Sheriff’s Office then matched DMV photos with the security camera footage.
The arrest report said Billotte used the card from May 10 to July 7. She reportedly spent in excess of $1,500.
After arresting Billotte, authorities charged her with 17 counts of felony obtaining property by false pretense, one count of felony identity theft, one count of felony financial transaction theft, one count of felony financial transaction fraud and one count of resisting, delaying and obstructing a public officer.
She was given a $25,000 bond and was in jail Tuesday morning.