On Wednesday, May 4, 2016, during a joint investigation by PCSO, Lakeland P.D., Auburndale P.D., and the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, HCSO deputies arrested 37-year-old Darryl Plummer of 1925 Highland Street West in Lakeland, for a series of business burglaries in and around Polk County, during which he cut the power source.
According to his affidavits, around 4:03 a.m. on April 8, 2016, PCSO deputies responded to an alarm call at the Ali Baba convenience store, located on Wabash Avenue in unincorporated Polk County. They found the power to the business had been cut off, with the electrical box damaged and communication and electrical wires cut. The window to the front door of the store had been shattered, and the store was burglarized. A witness reported seeing a white P.T. Cruiser-style vehicle in the area at the time.
A similar burglary occurred in the county on April 14, 2016. PCSO deputies responded to an alarm call at the Quik Stop convenience store located on Old Tampa Hwy in Lakeland. The same damage to the meter box and method of entry into the store was observed. The store was burglarized in a similar manner as well. A witness reported seeing a white Chevy HHR with a ladder on the ladder rack, in the parking lot.
During the investigation, deputies identified approximately 20 burglaries with the same M.O. occurring in and around Polk County, in different law enforcement jurisdictions, since January 2016. The same type of vehicle was described each time, when a vehicle was observed. A joint investigation with the aforementioned agencies ensued.
On April 21, 2016, a PCSO deputy sheriff on patrol spotted what appeared to be the suspect vehicle – a white Chevy HHR with a dent on the right passenger side and a ladder rack - and spoke with the driver and registered owner, identified as Darryl Plummer.
On April 22, 2016, when deputies reviewed video surveillance from the Ali Baba store, they observed a white Chevy HHR (similarly shaped like a P.T. Cruiser) near the store when the burglary occurred, obtained a tag number from the video, and identified the registered owner of the vehicle as Plummer.
On April 23, 2016, the suspect vehicle was seen on Paul Buchman Hwy in Hillsborough County. A similar burglary was reported there at a Sunoco station.
On April 26, 2016, the suspect vehicle was seen on Lake Beulah Drive in Lakeland. A similar burglary was reported there at a Citgo gas station.
On May 4, 2016, the suspect vehicle was seen on Knights Griffin Road in Hillsborough County. Two burglaries were reported there at a Marathon gas station, and a Circle K store. A traffic stop was conducted by Hillsborough County Sheriff’s deputies immediately after the burglaries, and Plummer was taken into custody. He was a passenger in the white Chevy HHR, which was being driven by his girlfriend, Tara Hurley, at the time. They were both taken into custody and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
So far, Plummer has been charged by PCSO with two counts Felony Burglary with Damage over $1,000 (F-1), two counts Grand Theft (F-3), and two counts Larceny Related to Utility (M-1). More charges are pending by other law enforcement agencies.