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.