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Deputies responded to two separate enclosed trailer theft reports in the Lake Wales area this week. On Monday Warner University reported a theft of a 1998 white enclosed trailer, and on Tuesday Harris-McBurney Company reported a theft of a 2002 white enclosed trailer with their company logo on it. Deputies found both trailers at the Royale Inn (19071 Highway 27, LW).


Witnesses observed a 1990’s Ford Ranger towing both stolen trailers with two white guys in the truck. The suspects tried to sell the enclosed trailers to a witness who was staying at the Royale Inn. The suspects parked the Harris-McBurney trailer next to several vehicles adorned with the same Harris-McBurney logos (some Harris-McBurney employees are staying at the Royale Inn because of a job in the area).


Deputies were able to positively identify the suspects based on descriptions and previous criminal activity in the Lake Wales area. We arrested 30-year-old William Carl LaFrance of Lake Wales for grand theft and dealing in stolen property.


We are still looking for our second enclosed trailer theft suspect, 32-year-old James Edward Wilson of Lake Wales. He has a warrant for grand theft, dealing in stolen property, and burglary to an unoccupied structure. He’s been a frequent flyer at the county jail with about a dozen Polk County arrests. Have you seen him? If you so, please call Detective Goreck at 863-678-4115 or 863-298-6200.


Anyone with information who wants to REMAIN ANONYMOUS and be eligible for a CASH REWARD is asked to call HEARTLAND CRIME STOPPERS AT 1-800-226-TIPS or log onto to submit your tip via the web. For a secure and password protected mobile app for your smart device, go to the app store and download the free “P3tips” mobile app. No caller ID, no recorded lines, no tracking cookies, no saved IP addresses. Anonymity is Guaranteed!!

Media Contact:
Cash, Michele
                                                Date: 10/25/2017