Polk deputies arrest 1, searching for 1 following Winter Haven armed robbery and carjacking 

Polk County deputies arrested Jhamari Jones, 19, after he allegedly robbed two people at gunpoint and stole their car along with another suspect.

According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, around midnight Tuesday evening, two Black men entered the Carefree Cove area of Winter Haven and approached a vehicle that had two people sitting inside.

The victims said the men forced the driver from the vehicle and battered him. The victims also stated one of the men pointed a firearm at them, stole some jewelry, and then fled on foot. The other robber stole the vehicle with one of the victims still inside, deputies said.

According to PCSO, the victim/passenger was later allowed to exit the vehicle unharmed. The victim/driver stated he called 911 from a neighbor’s phone. 

PCSO deputies responded, located and attempted to stop the stolen vehicle. However, deputies said the suspect refused to stop, and deputies engaged in a pursuit, assisted by the PCSO helicopter. The pursuit ended when the stolen vehicle crashed into another vehicle occupied by one person. That person was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries and released.

Jones fled on foot and was caught quickly, with the help of the drone and K-9 units, and arrested.

Jones is charged with armed robbery, false imprisonment, grand theft auto, battery, fleeing to elude and leaving the scene of a crash with injuries. Jones’ criminal history includes two felonies and one misdemeanor, as well as six burglary charges from Georgia.

The second suspect is still at large. He is described as a Black male, between 25-30 years of age, approximately 6 feet tall, with gold teeth on both top and bottom, and light facial hair. He was brandishing a black, semi-automatic handgun.

Anyone with information regarding this incident or the suspects in question, or any other information that might be helpful to this investigation, is asked to call Detective Escheu at 863-298-6200, or to remain anonymous, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers - call 1-800-226 TIPS (8477), visit ww.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on "Submit A Tip," or download the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.