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Man found dead at Polk Co. park now murder investigation

Winter Haven, Florida -- Winter Haven Police investigating the death of a man found at Inman Park Saturday morning now say he was murdered.

Detectives say an autopsy confirmed 71-year-old James Stewart was murdered and suffered physical trauma to his body.

Stewart was known in the homeless community and frequented the park. He was typically seen riding an older woman's Trek mountain bike with faded silver or gray paint. The bike has not been found. (Note: The photo attached is NOT the actual bike, but one similar to one he was known to ride.)

Man who stole personal property on school campuses arrested

Polk County, Florida -- Polk Sheriff's deputies say the man wanted for walking onto school campuses in Polk County and stealing teachers' wallets has been captured.

Don Cornelius Stephens, 38, was arrested in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and has been booked into the Forsyth County Jail.

Stephens had three Polk County burglary warrants for his arrest and two Felony Petit Theft warrants with more charges pending.

Deputies searching for 30 who fled dog fight in Polk

HAINES CITY, Florida (AP) - More than 30 people who attended a central Florida dog fight could face charges.

Polk County Sheriff's Office deputies broke up the fight Saturday after getting an anonymous tip. One person was arrested and four dogs taken into custody by animal control. At least eight vehicles fled, but 15 others were abandoned at the grove, along with cellphones and money. Detectives are tracking down the cars' owners.

Sheriff Grady Judd says he'll aggressively pursue the cases but the investigations will take time.

Accused bully's mother gets probation for child abuse

Lakeland, Florida -- The mother of one of the girls who was accused of bullying 14-year-old Rebecca Sedwick pleaded guilty to counts of child abuse Monday.

SEE ALSO: Parents of alleged bully speaks

UPDATE: Wanted violent criminal in home invasion caught

Winter Haven, Florida -- UPDATE: Winter Haven Police say they have captured the wanted criminal sought in a violent home invasion Tuesday evening.

Previous Story:

Winter Haven Police detectives are asking for the public's help locating a violent criminal who pointed a shotgun at a man's head during a home invasion Monday morning.

Polk deputies issue alert for owners of Dodge, Chrysler vehicles

Winter Haven, Florida -- The Polk Sheriff's Office is alerting anyone who drives a Dodge or Chrysler in the Winter Haven area needs to be on their guard.

Deputies warn they're seeing a growing trend of car thefts. Then, the crooks are using those stolen cars to commit smash and grabs. The suspects are ramming through front glass doors of businesses that sell electronics and grabbing what they can. 

The biggest targets right now are Jeep Cherokees, Dodge Caravans and Plymouth vans.

Former Bartow Ford worker who stole $90,000 gets prison time

Bartow, FL -- A former worker at bartow Ford, who stole more than $90,000 dollars from the dealership and faced up to 30 years in prison has entered a plea deal to serve two years behind bars.

Linda Sue Miranda, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and grand theft.