Date: December 19, 2001 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Aaron Flint, (863) 534-6377 or 502-8262 pager

Burglary Suspects Arrested

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested two suspects today who are believed to be responsible for several burglaries in the North Lakeland area.

Harold Nicholes, DOB 3/12/82, of 6022 Hilltop Lane in Lakeland, and Eric Westbrook, DOB 7/14/81, of 3336 North Galloway Rd. in Lakeland, were arrested by Polk Sheriff's detectives at approximately 3 p.m. today.  Both suspects were charged with 2 counts of Burglary of a Residence and 2 counts of Grand Theft. 

Sheriff's Deputies responded to a call from a Polk City homeowner at 1:15 p.m. stating that 2 white males had attempted to burglarize his home.  As the homeowner pulled into his driveway, he noticed that his house alarm was going off.  He then noticed two white males who were coming from the backyard of his property.  The homeowner exchanged words with the two men, who claimed that they were looking for a fishing pit.  The men then got into a 1995 maroon Ford Contour and headed south on Hwy. 33, but not before the home owner got their license plate number.  After entering his home, the owner noticed that the sliding glass door in the rear of his home had been shattered.  He then reported the incident to the Sheriff's Office.

After speaking with the homeowner, deputies found that the vehicle was registered to 3336 North Galloway Rd. in Lakeland.  In hopes of catching the suspects returning to the residence, detectives waited at a location near the home.  At approximately 3 p.m., detectives noticed a maroon vehicle with 2 white males fitting the description of the suspects heading in the direction of the home.  As the suspects pulled into the driveway, deputies blocked in the vehicle.  The suspects were taken into custody without confrontation.  Numerous stolen items were found in the Ford Contour and residence.  

Although Nicholes and Westbrook were only charged with 2 counts of Burglary and 2 counts of Grand Theft today, detectives believe that they are responsible for as many as 12 burglaries since last Friday in North Lakeland.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

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