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Nov 10, 2021

Winter Haven man with extensive criminal history arrested for felony petit theft

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

Polk County Sheriff's detectives have charged a Winter Haven man with felony petit theft after his Polk County retail theft crime spree at different Lowes stores.

Charles LevinCharles Levin, DOB 8/13/59, of Avenue F SE in Winter Haven, has an extensive criminal history, including 34 previous felonies, 47 previous misdemeanors, and 5 trips to state prison. During the months of August and October 2021, Levin committed retail theft at two different Lowes stores in the Auburndale and Winter Haven areas.

On August 29, 2021, Levin loaded a shopping cart with over $550.00 worth of merchandise at the Winter Haven Lowes and attempted to leave without paying. He was stopped by Asset Protection. He left the store in a white SUV.

On October 5, 2021, he was again seen by Asset Protection loading $428.00 worth of stolen power tools in a white Toyota Highlander SUV. He fled the parking lot with the merchandise.

On October 21, 2021, Asset Protection received a report of a stolen trailer from the Auburndale store. They reviewed video surveillance and recognized Levin. He attached the stolen trailer to a white Toyota Highlander. The trailer was worth $969.00. He then used the trailer to steal a riding lawn mower from in front of the store - the value of the mower is $2,000.00.

On October 29, 2021, Levin was arrested by the Winter Haven Police Department after he was caught attempting to steal a generator and a rug from the Winter Haven Lowes. He bonded out the next day.

Lowes Asset Protection contacted the Polk County Sheriff's Office Organized Retail Crime Unit and an investigation ensued. PCSO detectives obtained a warrant for Levin's arrest, and he was taken into custody on Tuesday evening, November 9, 2021. Levin has three previous convictions for theft, in 1990, 1995, and 2001. He has been charged with three counts felony petit theft, 3rd or subsequent offense (F3).

"This suspect is the prime example of why our agency has an Organized Retail Crime Unit. We work hand-in-hand with asset protection and loss prevention personnel at stores all over the county - they are the eyes and ears in the stores, giving us the information we need to make cases against organized retail crime. Retail theft affects everyone - it drives up costs for retailers and consumers." - Grady Judd, Sheriff