POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Four teens were arrested Monday after being accused of burglarizing 15 vehicles at three apartment complexes in unincorporated Lakeland and in Mulberry, deputies said.
Deputies said they first responded to the Avenue Apartments on South Florida Avenue at 2:10 a.m., when multiple vehicles were broken into. Detectives located a purse belonging to one of the victims, who said her Ford Explorer and credit cards had been stolen. A firearm was stolen from another vehicle, deputies said.
Detectives said they found the stolen Explorer at a tire shop in Lakeland. Surveillance video from the shop shows two suspects parking at the business in a Kia sedan and walking to a second apartment complex, the Ariva Apartments on Ariva Boulevard. They returned and waited for the arrival of the Ford Explorer. Then two people got out of the Explorer and into the Kia, and they all left the shop, according to the sheriff’s office.
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Deputies said they were able to locate the owner of the Kia at a home in Bartow, where they found the four teens. The sheriff’s office said the teens admitted to burglarizing the two apartment complexes, as well as the Huntington at Sundance Apartments in Mulberry.
The stolen credit cards and the keys to the Explorer were also found.
In all of the cases, the vehicles were unlocked, the sheriff’s office said.
Three of the suspects are under the age of 18 and were taken to the Juvenile Assessment Center.
The fourth suspect, 18-year-old Eugene Akines, was taken to the Polk County Jail. The sheriff’s office said he also has an arrest warrant out of Pinellas County for grand theft of a motor vehicle and fleeing law enforcement.
Deputies said he’ll be transported to Pinellas County at a later date.
All four face charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, grand theft of a firearm, conspiracy to commit burglary and other charges.
An investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible.
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