“Once again, we see how quickly a crime of opportunity can occur,” said Sheriff Grady Judd. “These suspects ‘went shopping’ in a single neighborhood taking valuables out of multiple unlocked cars. Never leave your property in plain view inside a vehicle and always lock the doors. Thieves are looking for an easy target, please don’t be that target.”
At approximately 1:29 am, Sunday, August 11, 2013, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an in-progress Vehicle Burglary on St. Lucia Drive in the Island Walk subdivision in Lakeland. Witnesses said two juveniles had been seen rummaging through unlocked vehicles in the neighborhood.
Deputies searching the area located two juveniles who had been identified as the two seen by witnesses. A third juvenile was later identified and all three were taken into custody.
15-year-old Stephan St. Martin, DOB 04/15/1998, 5119 Martinique Drive, Lakeland. St. Martin is charged with 6 counts of Burglary of Unoccupied Conveyance, 2 counts Grand Theft, and 3 counts Petit Theft.
16-year-old Ryan Henderson, DOB 11/11/1996, 6409 Timucuans Drive, Lakeland. Henderson is charged with 6 counts of Burglary of Unoccupied Conveyance, 2 counts Grand Theft, and 3 counts Petit Theft.
16-year-old Garrett Pate, DOB 10/24/1996, 3939 Deeson Road, Lakeland. Pate is charged with 6 counts of Burglary of Unoccupied Conveyance, 2 counts Grand Theft, and 3 counts Petit Theft.
Each of the suspects confessed to “car hopping,” saying they walked through the subdivision and pulled the handles on multiple cars and entered the ones left unlocked.
The suspects told deputies prior to the burglaries, they had been drinking beer and smoking marijuana.
The juveniles were in possession of five (5) GPS devices, an LG cell phone, cell phone chargers, a black cell phone case, Nintendo DS, loose change, a black box with CDs inside, two sets of sunglasses, chewing gum, and $27.00 cash.
A total of seven victims were identified.
All three suspects were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.