December 19, 2001
Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
or 502-8262 pager
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