LAKELAND, Fla. – A positive match from fingerprints by a Polk County Sheriff’s Office identification technician led to the successful arrest of a 16-year-old Lakeland vehicle burglary suspect who broke into nine vehicles and stole three handguns, among other personal items.
The original crime spree occurred in the early morning of Friday, June 16, 2023, in the Saddle Creek Road area.
Deputies say, the suspect entered into several unlocked vehicles parked on Orchid Lane and Banyan Lane and stole two handguns, credit cards, driver’s licenses, social security cards, and cash.
When the first vehicle theft was reported to PCSO, and detectives conducted a neighborhood canvass, more thefts were discovered, along with surveillance video that depicted the suspect – a male wearing a hoodie, shorts, and slides. The video was posted to the PCSO social media accounts, and a crime scene investigator processed the vehicles, obtained latent prints, and submitted them to the PCSO Identification Section for analysis.
Other similar burglaries were reported to PCSO later that month and during the first week of July, with the same suspect description. Another firearm was stolen from a truck parked on Delrose Drive North. The investigation continued.
On July 17, 2023, a positive hit for one of the fingerprints came back to Tyshawn Taylor, 16, who has a criminal history and lives in the area.
Detectives went to Tyshawn’s home to interview him, and he admitted to sneaking out of his house (via his bedroom window) at night, breaking into cars, and then sneaking back in before his mother realized he was gone.
Detectives retrieved video from Tyshawn’s neighborhood which shows him leaving his residence during the early morning hours of June 16th, wearing a hoodie, shorts, and slides.
Detectives confirmed Tyshawn is currently on probation for burglaries, with a curfew of 7:00 p.m. They took him into custody and charged him with 13 felonies and one misdemeanor (the VOP):
- 3 counts armed burglary
- 3 counts grand theft of a firearm
- 6 counts unarmed burglary of a vehicle
- 1 count grand theft
- 1 count violation of probation
“This is an excellent success story that illustrates the hard-working men and women of our Identification Section. It’s also another harsh reminder about the importance of removing firearms from your vehicles and locking your doors. Please don’t give criminals such easy access to weapons, not to mention your personal identification and finances.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff.
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