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Polk County News and Democrat Smash-and-grab burglar nabbed
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News Story
Updated: 07/27/2013 08:00:04AM

Smash-and-grab burglar nabbed

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Frederick Sheffield

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On Tuesday, July 23, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Frederick Glenn Sheffield, 41, of 1975 Indian Trails Court in Lakeland, for a rash of smash-and-grab business burglaries that happened in three different jurisdictions in Polk County.

According to affidavits, Sheffield broke into the several stores in Polk County during the late evening/early morning hours of July 21 and 22, two of them in Bartow: The AT&T store and Radio Shack; the rest were in Lakeland.

The PCSO investigation began when deputies responded to an alarm call at the Advanced Discount Auto Parts store on U.S. 98 South at approximately 4 a.m., Monday, July 22. Deputies discovered that the front doors to the business had been pried open, and more than $600 worth of items taken.

Approximately 20 minutes later, deputies responded to another alarm at the Sears store, nearly six miles away. The front doors to that store had also been pried open and approximately
$475 worth of items taken.

Shortly after, the Bartow Police Department had two incidents occur, at the AT&T store and Radio Shack.

During the PCSO investigation, deputies obtained video surveillance of a suspect vehicle near the Sears, described as an older model dark-colored Ford Mustang with only one headlight operational. This information was distributed to Polk County law enforcement agencies.

At approximately 4:50 a.m., Tuesday, July 23, Bartow Police Officer Luke Hauser initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle matching the suspect vehicle description. The driver was positively identified as Frederick Sheffield. Sheffield had in his possession a Samsung Galaxy tablet, confirmed stolen from the Family Pawn Shop in Lakeland.

Sheffield was arrested and post-Miranda confessed to having committed the burglaries. He told deputies he stole to support his cocaine habit.

“Thanks to excellent police partnerships across jurisdiction lines, we were able to swiftly apprehend this repeat offender before he damaged any more stores or stole anything else,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in a prepared news release.

Sheffield was booked into the Polk County Jail on the following charges:

• Organized Dealing in Stolen Property (3 counts)

• Grand Theft (3 counts)

• Burglary of Unoccupied Structure
(3 counts)

Sheffield has been in the Polk County Jail on 14 prior occasions, for a variety of charges, ranging from: Retail Theft, Resisting Arrest, Carrying Concealed Firearm, Grand Theft, Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle, Forgery, VOP, etc. He has also been to state prison several times.

An investigation is ongoing.

More arrests made in
citrus trailer thefts

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office reported Tuesday that four more people have been charged in connection with a series of stolen citrus haulers in various parts of the county.

Four people from T&M Salvage, located at 2605 State Road 37 S., in Mulberry, have been charged with multiple counts as part of an ongoing citrus trailer theft investigation conducted by the PCSO Agricultural Crimes detectives.

The investigation began earlier this year when three suspects — Ruben Ramirez, Richard Ramirez, and Donald Mosley — were arrested on more than 70 charges including grand theft, dealing in stolen property, and giving false verification to a pawn dealer. All three charged were residents of Fort Meade.

During the preliminary investigation, the Ramirez brothers and Mosley told detectives that they took several of the stolen trailers to T&M Salvage, a licensed secondary metals recycler, and sold them as scrap metal, police said. Reports also indicated that the suspects told detectives that they did not provide titles of ownership of the materials to the business, per Florida State Statute.

Detectives responded to the business and requested records of these transactions, according to information from the sheriff’s office.

Upon reviewing 40 separate transactions where the business received the trailers as scrap metal and paid the three suspects for them, detectives noted that the paperwork was written to reflect that the trailers were “unprepared steel.”

Detectives interviewed the business owner, 54-year-old Adelina McCulley; the business manager, 56-year-old Clarence McCulley; the materials buyer, 64-year-old Bernhard Powell; and the scale operator, 61-year-old John Richmond. All four told detectives they bought the trailers brought in by the Ramirez brothers and Mosley as scrap metal, not as trailers, and admitted that they did not obtain the required paperwork and titles.

On Monday, the quartet were arrested and collectively charged with 40 counts unlawful purchase of motor vehicle; 40 counts grand theft of motor vehicle; and 40 counts organized dealing in stolen property.

Clarence McCulley was also charged with one count sell/transfer of motor vehicle without a title. The investigation is ongoing.

Several local law enforcement entities helped in the investigation, according to the sheriff’s office.

Many of the trailers that were stolen had not been reported stolen. The Polk County businesses where the trailers were stolen from include: Peace River Packing, Florida’s Natural, Dun-D Citrus, W.G. Roe, Ingram Grove Service, and Citra Source. Deputies have additionally identified victims in: Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Wauchula, and LaBelle. In all, they believe more than 75 trailers were stolen, police said.

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