Date: April 19, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

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

Suspect Arrested In Angel Food Store Robbery/Murder

At approximately 10 a.m. this morning, Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested Willie Scaife, DOB 8/30/74, of 603 Maggie Circle in Winter Haven, for the murder of Chiman Patel and the attempted murder of his wife, Hansa Patel, during a robbery of the Angel Food Store in Auburndale, on March 22, 2002. 

On Friday, March 22, 2002, at 10:40 a.m., Scaife entered the Angel Food Store, took a beverage from the cooler, and approached the counter.  After placing the drink on the counter, Scaife removed a handgun from the pocket of his cargo pants and demanded money.  Although the Patels complied with his demands, Scaife began shooting.  Hansa Patel was shot twice, but suffered non life threatening injuries. Chimanbahiai Patel was shot multiple times and was pronounced dead on the scene. The suspect then walked behind the counter, grabbed approximately $300 in cash and fled from the scene on foot. 

During the investigation Polk County Sheriff's detectives learned that Scaife had shopped at the store on several previous occasions.  In fact, Hansa Patel informed detectives that the suspect had previously cashed paychecks at the store.  Based on this information, detectives began the time consuming task of going through hundreds of checks that had been cashed by the Patels since February. 

After 3 weeks of looking through numerous photographs of possible suspects, Hansa Patel positively identified Scaife as the suspect responsible for the robbery and shooting.  Early this morning, detectives learned that Scaife was working in a orange grove near Bradbury Rd. in Haines City.  At approximately 10 a.m., Scaife was arrested by detectives as he drove a tractor in the orange grove. 

Scaife is charged with First Degree Murder, Attempted First Degree Murder, and Armed Robbery. He was booked into the Polk County Jail late this evening.


Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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