Date: January 17, 2003 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Michal Shanley, 863 534-6631 or 819-0397 pager

Four Arrested In String of Vehicle Burglaries

Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested four suspects early this morning (Friday, Jan. 17, 2003) and charged them with a string of vehicle burglaries in the South Lakeland area.

The following were arrested and charged each with Burglary of a Conveyance and Petit Theft (additional charges in at least 30 more vehicle burglaries are pending):

  • William Chris Hayes, DOB 8/15/84, of 3929 Clubhouse Road in Lakeland.
  • James Adam Hayes, DOB 8/20/85, of  3929 Clubhouse Road in Lakeland.
  • Bradley Burton, DOB 12/19/87, of 6326 Butternut Drive in Lakeland.
  • ames Johnston, DOB 2/17/87, of 829 Somerset Drive in Lakeland.

At least six vehicle burglaries occurred last Sunday night/Monday morning, and another six were reported this morning. At around 1:30 this morning, a patrol deputy spotted the suspects walking in the area where the string of burglaries had occurred (also past youth curfew). As the deputy approached the suspects, Johnston fled on foot back to his residence. The remaining three suspects were identified as being involved in the vehicle burglaries and were arrested without incident. Johnston was arrested at his home a short time later without further incident.  During the following interviews, the suspects told detectives they had been involved in at least 30 other vehicle burglaries in the area.

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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