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Dec 13, 2023

14 year old and 24 year old from Tampa arrested for grand theft auto and other charges

Media Contact: Scott Wilder

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested a 14-year-old teen, Jeremiah C.
Hamm of Tampa
, early Wednesday morning (approx. 1:00 a.m.).

Deputies were following a stolen 2000 Nissan pickup on I-4 (eastbound) near mile marker 49. With the assistance of the FHP and Lake Alfred Police the stolen vehicle was boxed in and Hamm was taken into custody and charged with Grand Theft Motor Vehicle, No Valid FL DL, Criminal Mischief x2, and Fleeing to Elude LEO.

Deputies located another stolen vehicle shortly after 1:00 a.m., a 2022 Dodge Ram pickup truck at the Circle K  located at Hwy 27/ Ronald Regan Parkway; the driver, later identified as 24-year-old Tamari Lucas of Tampa, and an unknown passenger exited the truck and fled on foot.  Tamari Lucas was apprehended by deputies; the passenger was not found. Lucas was charged with Grand Theft Motor Vehicle and Resisting Officer w/out force.

Both stolen vehicles were observed driving together eastbound on I-4.

Subsequent investigation determined that both are suspected of committing multiple burglaries using the two stolen vehicles in Tampa and Pasco County.

Hamm asked deputies after he was arrested: "What am I getting charged with grand theft auto?" And he told deputies that he had court the following day for a previous Grand Theft and was worried he would miss court.

Lucas told deputies he wouldn't be in jail long because he was in Osceola County. He was informed that he was being arrested in Polk County. Lucas stated "OH MY GOD, NOT GRADY JUDD. are you f***ing serious, this really sucks, because you guys don't play in Polk County."

"These two thieves are running rampant and they obviously don't take our criminal justice system seriously. Why is this 14 year old out at 1:00 in the morning stealing cars and committing burglaries? Where are the adults in his life? We will absolutely hold these two accountable; we are just not going to tolerate this nonsense." -Grady Judd, Sheriff

Lucas has an extensive criminal history: he has 30 previous felony charges, 12 previous misdemeanor charges, and 19 re-arrest charges. His previous charges
include: Aggravated assault with a weapon and aggravated battery, improper exhibition of a firearm, carrying a concealed weapon, burglary (multiple), grand theft auto (multiple), dealing in stolen property (multiple), grand theft (multiple), drug possession (multiple), false information to a pawn broker, resisting arrest (multiple), larceny, violation of probation, and failure to appear in court.  He has 8 felony convictions.

Hamm, at the age of 14, has four previous arrests that include robbery with a firearm, armed burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault with a weapon, resisting arrest, possession of drugs, and trespassing.