Deputies: Three Bartow teens burglarize Sheriff vehicle, steal guns

- Three teenagers were arrested for stealing a car and burglarizing other vehicles -- including one belonging to law enforcement.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of three juveniles: two 15 years olds and one 17-year-old. Two of which are brothers.

According to their affidavits, multiple burglaries were reported in Bartow, including a marked PCSO Agricultural Crimes pickup truck. Firearms, a ballistic vest, Oakley sunglasses an iPhone, an Android tablet, and other personal items were stolen.

The stolen vehicle was discovered at Summerlin Oak Apartments located on Church Street East on Wednesday evening.

Deputies monitored the vehicle from a distance, and observed one person begin to open the car door. The subject apparently saw the deputies and fled. A perimeter was set up and deputies located the stolen PCSO gun in the path of the foot pursuit.

One of the 15 year olds was found in a “crawlspace” of a Polk County School Board building at 1430 Highway 60 East. According to authorities, the teen admitted to taking the vehicle and firearms with the second 15-year-old, who was storing the rest of stolen firearms at his home. 

Deputies went to his home and spoke with him and his 17-year-old brother. The elder brother admitted to taking the firearms, but said he wasn’t involved in the initial theft, according to the affidavit.

All three were arrested. According to a media release, they have an extensive criminal history, starting as early as 2011.

"Here are three juveniles, wreaking havoc throughout Bartow, breaking into cars, including a marked Sheriff's vehicle, and stealing a car, the day before school starts in Polk County,” said Sheriff Grady Judd in the release. “These kids are not afraid of our current juvenile justice system. The juvenile justice system is failing our kids, our victims, our state, and our community.”

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