SWAT searches for armed suspect in Polk Co.

- The Polk County SWAT Team is helping officers search for a man they say is armed and dangerous, and hiding near the Saddlebag Lake Resort. Residents were being asked to stay in their homes. 

Lake Wales police and Polk County sheriff's deputies said they set up a perimeter near Saddlebag Lake Resort, at Mammoth Grove Road and SR 60, in an attempt to catch a carjacking suspect from Bartow.

Bartow police said the carjacking happened around 3:10 p.m. Thursday. The suspect allegedly stole a White Chevy 6500 flatbed truck - owned by T&T Pipelines - that was left running in the area of Bay Street and 7th Avenue. The driver of the truck tried to stop the suspect, but was unsuccessful. So the driver's co-workers followed the stolen truck while calling police. 

As the suspect came to Magnolia Street and Oaklawn Avenue, he stopped and tried to reverse the truck into the workers following him. Police said one of the workers got out and tried to confront the suspect. When he did, the suspect pointed a gun at the worker, who ran back to his vehicle. 

Deputies with the Polk County Sheriff's Office were told about the theft and later caught up with the suspect as he drove east on SR 60. They said he abandoned the stolen truck near Mammoth Grove Road and tried to run.

Meanwhile, a Polk County Sheriff's Office helicopter was sent to the area to help with the search. When it spotted the suspect, he shot at the helicopter. The pilot flew away and out of range from the suspect. No shots were fired at the suspect.  

Officers believed the man is still alone and hiding near the Saddlebag Lake Resort. Residents were asked to lock their doors. 

FOX 13 News has a crew on the scene. Refresh this page for updates.


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