Date: January 13, 2000 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager
County Employee Arrested for Theft of Property

A Polk County Facilities Management Division employee was arrested for the burglaries of numerous county buildings and the theft of an estimated $23,000 worth of county property following a 7-month joint investigation by the Bartow Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Frank James Clark, Jr., DOB 2/23/73, of 2258 Clover Ridge Drive in Eagle Lake, has been charged with:

  • 8 counts Dealing in Stolen Property
  • 8 counts Burglary
  • 7 counts Grand Theft
  • 2 counts Petit Theft

Clark, who was employed as a crew foreman for the county's Facilities Management Division, is charged with the burglaries of numerous county buildings that he had access to as a facilities crew foreman. The burglaries and thefts took place at the Historical Museum, Department of Juvenile Justice, Property Appraiser's Office, County Utilities, the county's communication radio repair vehicle, and the Sheriff's Office. Additional thefts and burglaries also are being investigated, and additional charges are pending.

Detectives Randy Rolling (BPD) and Terry Storie (PCSO) conducted the investigation. The detectives believe that Clark used his access to county buildings to steal at least $23,000 worth of county property including computer equipment, laptops, video and camera equipment.

The joint investigation began seven months ago as detectives investigated the theft of two pistols stolen in July from the Polk County Historical Museum located in Bartow. The pistols were stolen from locked displays and storage areas in the historical museum. The ongoing investigation revealed additional burglaries of county buildings, and eventually led to the identity of the suspect. Clark was charged in connection with the pistol thefts and the additional burglaries.

Clark was arrested Friday, Jan 7, 2000, after he delivered stolen property during undercover surveillance. At that time, Clark was booked in and released. As the investigation continued, detectives added additional charges, and Clark was arrested again on a warrant on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2000. He currently is being held in the Polk County Jail.

This dramatic decrease in crime has occurred despite continued population growth in Polk County. Sheriff Crow credits three main areas of emphasis as strong factors in the drop in crime:

  • PROCAP - Proactive Community Attack on Problems.
  • Encouraging and Supporting Community Involvement.
  • Continuing a strong partnership with the Board of County Commissioners.

By working together with the community, the Sheriff's Office is making a positive difference in the lives of Polk County residents.

XXX

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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