PINELLAS COUNTY, FLORIDA – A Seminole teenage burglary spree on August 29, 2020, snatched up a variety of goods that were found in unlocked vehicles. It all ended soon after one victim caught the threesome of boys attempting to steal goods from her Ford Escape located in her driveway.
According to Post-Miranda confessions from the boys aged 13 to 17 years old, the spree started with a marijuana smoking session at one of the children’s homes, a luxury home on 98th Avenue. The juveniles left the house and began to roam and run through nearby Village at Antigua Apartments and 88th Avenue North, searching for unlocked vehicles to quickly “grab ‘n go” items that drivers and passengers left behind.
When Yantis spotted them on her property, they quickly escaped, running down 98th Street North, 102nd Avenue North, and Starkey Road. They stopped when they reached a small lake. But when they looked to the sky and discovered a Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office helicopter, they scattered. One child hid in a residential structure, doused himself in gasoline that he had found in order to avoid detection by K9 deputies, and the other two hid in another residential structure.
Two hours later, the boy drenched in gasoline was arrested when Wilber Bicknell went to the structure he owned and found its door locked. Bicknell knew the structure was left unlocked from the outside, so he contacted the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
The youngest juvenile was placed on H.O.M.E. monitoring beginning June 24. His father is a military veteran. The eldest child’s father has a long prison history for uttering forgery, possessing cocaine, and other drugs, as well as grand theft. His son confessed to sheriffs that he steals from vehicles to support selling marijuana.
The third child’s history is unknown.
While requesting records and inquiring about whether any locked vehicles were involved in the spree, Deputy Sibley, Public Information Officer for the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department explained, “Usually, they just pull door handles to see if a vehicle is unlocked. That’s typically how it works.”