Date: October 29, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, Pager

Two Arrested After Armed Robbery Spree in Winter Haven

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested one man and one juvenile and charged each with 3 counts of Armed Robbery after both committed several armed robberies together in Winter Haven on Monday, October 28, 2002. Around 8:50 p.m. suspect Alton Norwood, Jr., DOB 1/27/86, of 114 West Crystal Avenue in Lake Wales, and suspect Lorenzo Parker, Jr., DOB 6/3/80, of 2308 Laurel Street in Lake Wales, approached Jeff Reitzel of Winter Haven outside Rocco's Sports Bar on Cypress Gardens Boulevard and robbed him of his cellular phone at gunpoint. Reitzel, a cook at Rocco's, was standing behind the restaurant taking a break. Norwood and Parker forced him back into the kitchen of the restaurant at gunpoint, but then fled for unknown reasons.

Approximately 20 minutes later, the two suspects then approached Pamela Hagen of Winter Haven at the intersection of Ave C and 16th Street NE and robbed her at gunpoint, taking from her a gold necklace. 

Five minutes after committing that robbery, the pair approached William Logan at the Buddy Logan Insurance Company at 3238 Dundee Road and robbed him of an undisclosed amount of cash as he was locking up the business for the night.  Lorenzo Parker also punched William Logan twice in the face with a closed fist.

Four minutes after the last robbery/battery, Deputy Sheriff Matt Williams saw the suspect vehicle traveling East on Dundee Road and turned to follow it. The vehicle then turned into the BP Gas Station at Dundee Road and U.S. Hwy 27.  Inside the vehicle, which is registered to Alton Norwood, Sr., deputies found two ski masks utilized in the robberies, and laying on the ground outside the vehicle was a Smith and Wesson revolver.  Items of personal property that were removed from the victims were also found in the vehicle or on Lorenzo Parker. 

Parker and Norwood were taken into custody without incident and questioned by Robbery detectives Monday evening.  Norwood was booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center and charged with 3 counts of Armed Robbery and 1 count Armed Kidnapping. Parker was booked into the Polk County Jail and has been charged with 3 counts Armed Robbery, 1 count Armed Kidnapping, 1 count Battery on a Person 65 Years of Age or Older, and 1 count Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.  Both suspects are being held without bond.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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