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Police chase alleged thieves in stolen flower shop van | Crime

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Police chase alleged thieves in stolen flower shop van
Crime, News, People
Police chase alleged thieves in stolen flower shop van

Lake Wales, Florida-- A car crashed into an orange grove, suspects fled the area and an extensive police chase ensued in an attempt to catch suspects responsible for stealing a local flower shop's van yesterday.

Lake Wales officers, a Lake Wales PD K9, Polk County Sheriff's Office and the Sheriff's Office Air Unit were involved in the chase, which lead to the arrest of four men.

According to Lake Wales PD, Officer Hampton happened to be driving on Highway 27 when he saw two men running through the Sky Power Sports Parking lot. Officer Hampton assumed the two were up to something, and decided to turn around. 

As he turned around, Officer Hampton saw a white van leaving the parking lot, which he recognized as belonging to the nearby flower shop. 

Hampton followed the van, and attempted to pull them over. The driver refused to pullover, and the chase began. 

The van headed straight for an orange grove, and the two men within jumped out as it continued moving. The van rolled a short distance before it stopped, and the suspect's kept running, and crossed a nearby intersection.

Officer Hampton lost sight of the men, but it wasn't long before additional Lake Wales officers and Polk Sheriff's deputies arrived to assist. Reports say Officer Hampton's K9 partner, K9 Boss, and the Polk Sheriff's Air Unit also helped track the suspects. 

Behind the Sky Power Sports building, across from where it all began, the Air Unit saw someone run from the woods and enter a pick-up truck. Officials say they pulled over the truck, and the driver claimed he was driving to West Palm Beach and just stopped to "relieve himself."

A search of the truck revealed one of the suspects, the driver of the stolen van, hiding under the floorboards. Police arrested him, and the other man for Accessory. 

Later on, reports say, Lake Wales PD Officer Mongeon drove to a nearby Sunoco gas station, where he found the second suspect accused of stealing the van. He was accompanied by another person, and both men were sweaty and wet, as if they were just running. 

Lake Wales officers arrested the third suspect and Polk deputies arrested the fourth person in relation to the crime. 

Lake Wales PD reports that during interviews with officers, all suspects claimed they did not speak English, and also denied knowing one another. 

They say the following suspects were booked, and transported to the Polk County Jail.

Miguel A Alfonso, 24, of Palm Springs, Florida, charged with:

  • Auto Theft
  • Fleeing to Elude Arrest
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Driving with a Suspended or Revoked License

Miguel A Roche,54, of West Palm Beach, Florida was charged with:

  • Aiding Escape

Yankil Rodriguez, 30, of Palm Beach, Florida, charged with:

  • Auto Theft
  • Resisting Arrest

Information on the fourth suspect has not been released. 

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