On Monday, November 20, 2017, Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested 16-year-old Leslie Diaz, 17-year-old Justin Amos, and 20-year-old Dustin Cheasebro, of Lakeland for robbery with a firearm (F-1) and conspiracy to commit armed robbery (F-2). Diaz is additionally being charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, petit theft, and VOP. After Diaz stole a vehicle from 47-year-old Jodi Sirard, a Department of Children and Families Employee, Diaz, Amos, and Cheasebro committed an armed robbery at a Lakeland convenience store.
On Sunday, November 19, 2017, Diaz was released from the Juvenile Assessment Center (JAC) for VOP on a battery charge and was at the DCF Office with Sirard. While they were waiting to transport Diaz to a group home, she went into Sirard's purse, removed her keys, and stole Sirard's 2016 Nissan Rogue from the parking lot.
On Monday, November 20, 2017, the Lakeland Police Department located the stolen 2016 Nissan Rogue in the Kathleen area. LPD attempted to complete a traffic stop on this vehicle, but it failed to stop and fled. A vehicle pursuit was then initiated by LPD, which traveled out of Polk County and towards Tampa.
The pursuit ended when the stolen Nissan crashed in the area of I4 at exit 2.
The driver of the vehicle, identified as Justin Amos, fled from the vehicle but was quickly apprehended by LPD K-9. Diaz, Amos, Cheasebro, and two other juveniles were inside the vehicle during the crash. All of them were transported to Tampa Hospital for medical evaluation and released.
During this investigation, Diaz, Amos, and Cheasebro admitted to deputies that they committed the armed robbery on Sunday evening, November 19, 2017, at approximately 11:43 p.m., at the Circle K. located at 4415 Old Kathleen Road, Lakeland. They admitted that Cheasebro approached the counter armed with a pistol, demanding a carton of Newport cigarettes (valued at $100.00) and money from the two registers.
"How many examples of juveniles committing serious crimes do we need for the Department of Juvenile Justice to understand this is a problem? We have a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old committing robbery with a firearm and fleeing from officers in a pursuit. They are lucky they didn't hurt themselves or anyone else. I'm thankful for the Lakeland Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Highway Patrol for their assistance in getting these dangerous suspects behind bars." - Grady Judd, Sheriff.
Detectives found the .22 caliber pistol that was used and clothing worn by Cheasebro during the robbery. Detectives also found Newport cigarettes and money inside the vehicle.
Amos and Diaz were transported to Hillsborough County Juvenile Assessment Center to await extradition. Cheasebro was transported to the Hillsborough County jail to await extradition.
Amos and Diaz have a previous criminal history:
17-year-old Justin Amos:
08/20/2017 - PCSO - Burglary, Grand Theft of Firearm, Probation Violation
08/20/2017 - PCSO - Armed burglary, Grand theft of a firearm
12/20/2016 - PCSO - VOP
05/25/2016 - PCSO - Burglary, Grand Theft (Fire Extinguisher)
16-year-old Leslie Diaz:
10/28/2017 - PCSO - VOP, Failure to Appear
10/13/2017 - WHPD - VOP
10/10/2017 - WHPD - VOP
09/09/2017 - WHPD - VOP
09/03/2017 - PCSO - VOP
08/04/2017 - PCSO - Failure to Appear
04/15/2017 - PCSO - Trespassing, Grand Theft of a motor vehicle, VOP
04/07/2017- PCSO - Failure to Appear
01/12/2016 - BPD - Possession of Marijuana
To watch Sheriff Judd discuss this news release please visit our YouTube page at UQG7sKKe_eA.