Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives arrested eight people related to an investigation of organized retail theft. Detectives learned that suspects worked together as a group where they committed thefts from several retail locations to include Bealls Outlet, Sports Authority, Hot Topic, Footlocker, Rainbow, Crush, Dillard’s, Kohl's, Toys R Us, Cotton On, and Burlington Coat Factory. The organized group of suspects primarily targeted clothing merchandise. After selecting and concealing the merchandise, the suspects exited the businesses, and passed all points of the sale without purchasing the items. Approximately $6,500 in stolen property has been identified, though the suspects are believed to have been responsible for stealing merchandise worth thousands’ more.
"Retail theft is a serious problem in Florida. It drives up the cost of goods and we all suffer through higher prices. We often find that these thieves are stealing every day. I applaud the hard work of our detectives—we will work hard to make sure these suspects are held accountable." Grady Judd, Sheriff
Through the course of the investigation it was discovered the suspects were selling the stolen merchandise to various individuals. In some cases, undercover Polk County Sheriff's Office detectives purchased stolen property from some of the suspects. Of the 8 people arrested, they were charged with 21 felonies, 17 misdemeanors, and 1 violation of probation.
Also, as a part of the investigation, undercover detectives identified a fugitive with outstanding warrants from Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties: Reginald Burney (DOB 02/23/1975) from Tampa. The warrants were for VOP grand theft, VOP aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, VOP burglary, VOP fleeing to elude law enforcement, and VOP domestic battery second offense. He has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1995 that includes a number of violent offenses. He was arrested on October 3, 2014 and transferred to Pinellas County jail on October 7. He was not charged with theft.
All suspects were given trespass warnings (meaning they are prohibited from entering the businesses) from the retail establishments, including the Lakeland Square Mall.
This investigation is still on-going.
1) Dayvonn T Light (B/M DOB: 8/11/1996); 1315 W 14th Street, Lakeland; arrested on 10/24/14; charges: 6 counts retail theft; Light told detectives he is unemployed and he receives $600 per month in SSI benefits. Light was observed by store loss prevention staff and Sheriffs' deputies steal merchandise on six occasions: at the Sports Authority store in north Lakeland (along with Sebyan Bostic) on September 3, 2014; at the Burlington Coat Factory store in north Lakeland (with Quintyn Davis, Jr.) on September 3; at the Bealls Outlet store in north Lakeland on September 3; at the Foot Locker store in north Lakeland on September 9; at the Dillard’s store in north Lakeland on September 12; and at the Macy's store and Cotton On store in north Lakeland (with juvenile Shauncy Miller) on October 23. Light admitted to deputies that he was involved in the thefts of the aforementioned cases. The total value of merchandise stolen related to his arrest is approximately $1,800.
2) Sebyan Bostic (B/M DOB: 5/25/1995); 1503 Arlington Road, Lakeland; arrested 10/15/14; charges: 5 counts grand theft, 4 counts dealing in stolen property, 2 counts retail theft; and 1 count of resisting an officer without violence; Bostic has 12 prior arrests (13 misdemeanors, 5 felonies, and 3 probation violations). Bostic told deputies he is unemployed. Bostic worked with Light, Davis, and Deondre Brockington. He stole merchandise from Sports Authority, Bealls, Macy's, and Sears. Undercover detectives identified Bostic as a repeat shoplifter. Bostic arranged to sell stolen merchandise to undercover PCSO detectives on several occasions in October. During one two day time period, Bostic stole approximately $3,421.46 worth of merchandise from three different retailers.
3) Quintyn Davis Jr. (B/M DOB: 9/17/1995); 2527 State Park Road, Lakeland; arrested October 24, 2014; charges: 2 counts grand theft, 3 counts retail theft. Davis told deputies he is unemployed and has applied for disability benefits. Quintyn Davis Jr. worked with Sebyan Bostic, Dayvonn Light, and Destine Jacobs on several retail thefts in Lakeland and Lake Wales. He participated in thefts from Burlington Coat Factory, Kohl's, and Bealls.
4) Marquise Allen (DOB: 4/22/1997); JUVENILE; 220 Carolyn Dr., Lakeland; arrested on 10/24/14; charges: one count grand theft, one count violation of probation; Allen has four previous arrests as a juvenile (six misdemeanor charges); Allen told deputies he does not have a job. On September 20, 2014, Allen entered the Toys R Us store in north Lakeland and worked with Destine Jacobs, and another woman to steal approximately $400 in children's clothing. They were captured on store video.
5) Whitney Hall (DOB: 6/04/1988); 2011 Live Oak Dr., Plant City; arrested 10/23/14; charge: dealing in stolen property; Hall has three previous arrests ( disorderly conduct, motor vehicle theft, and possession of cocaine and resisting arrest without violence). Hall told deputies she is unemployed and receiving $270 in EBT monthly benefits. Hall "ordered" some men's clothing believing the items were going to be stolen. She met and purchased men's clothing she was told was stolen for $30 (the retail value was $115) on October 23. She was arrested by PCSO deputies.
6) Shauncey Miller (DOB 09/16/97); JUVENILE; 127 East Patterson Street, Lakeland; charges: retail theft (2 counts). Miller has an extensive criminal history including 11 arrests (15 misdemeanors and two felonies). Miller told deputies he does not have a job. Miller worked with Deyvonn Light to steal merchandise from the Macy's store and Cotton On store in north Lakeland on October 23.
7) Deondre Brockington (DOB: 1/16/1996); 1315 West 14th Street, Lakeland; arrested 10/24/14; charges: grand theft (2 counts) and dealing in stolen property (2 counts). Brockington has one prior arrest for grand theft (F) and obstructing without violence (M). Brockington told deputies he was unemployed. Brockington worked with Sebyan Bostic to steal from retailers and sell stolen merchandise to undercover PCSO detectives. He stole from Macy's and Sears in north Lakeland.
8) Destine Rene Jacobs (DOB 02/05/92); 1315 W 14th Street, Lakeland; arrested October 25, 2014; charges: 2 counts of grand theft and 3 counts of retail theft (M). Jacobs has one prior arrest for driving while license suspended/revoked. Jacobs told deputies she was unemployed. Jacobs, working with several others, was observed stealing merchandise from Hot Topic, Toys R Us, and Bealls Outlet, all in north Lakeland, and from Kohl’s and Crush in Lake Wales. The total retail value of the items she stole was approximately $1,300.