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The latest happenings in your city government.




The Lakeland Police Department recently arrested Carl Stewart Jr., a known burglary suspect, and he has been directly linked to six residential burglaries.  On August 3rd, Stewart was arrested and he has been charged with burglary and grand theft. He has been charged with the following residential burglaries: 

         LPD Event #14-15691 – 2421 Cambridge Avenue (7/31/14)

         LPD Event #14-15814 – 620 Chatham Drive (8/1/14)

         LPD Event #14-15932 – 715 W Magnolia Street (8/3/14)

         LPD Event #14-15924 – 2608 Jonila Avenue (8/6/14)

         LPD Event #13-25175 – 2205 Fairmont Avenue (12/29/13)

         LPD Event #14-62 – 600 Easton Drive (1/2/14)

Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens said, “Stewart has an extensive criminal history and is well known by  departmental  members. By combining this knowledge and excellent teamwork exhibited by patrol, K-9, and our detectives Stewart was arrested and taken off our streets".  LPD asks that citizens keep their doors and windows locked in their homes and advise residents to not leave their garage door up when not in use.  Giddens said, “We ask citizens to be vigilant and if something doesn’t look right, then please call us so we can check it out.” 

There have been a number of car break-ins lately and the Lakeland Police Department would like to remind citizens to “Lock It, or Lose It”.  When cars are left unlocked, it provides an easy opportunity for a thief to burglarize property. The vast majority of vehicle burglaries reported to the Lakeland Police Department could be avoided if citizens would take an extra minute to make sure valuables are removed from vehicles, hidden from view or locked in the trunk. 

If you want more information on crimes that may be occurring in your neighborhood, you can go to the Lakeland Police Department website at www.lakelandgov.net/lpd and click on the RAIDSONLINE Crime Mapping tool.  Through this service, you can find information on crimes that are occurring in your neighborhood, or anywhere else in the city.   

 


Public Nuisance Triplex Closed for 1 year



LAKELAND, FL  (August 18, 2014)  On August 20, 2014 at 10:00am, the Lakeland Police Department will be boarding up property located at 919 North Iowa Avenue, an apartment building consisting of three (3) apartment units (“triplex”). We will also be posting signage stating the triplex was closed as a public nuisance. This is the third location LPD has closed within 9 months and is the first triplex closed as a nuisance. The Lakeland Police Department continues to work towards improving personal safety for residents and landlords by keeping drugs and other illegal activity off their property. Several members of the Lakeland Police Department will be present to discuss the abatement process and answer questions.

 

The Lakeland Police Department had received numerous citizen complaints about drug activity at this location. Detectives using confidential sources purchased felony amounts of marijuana from apartment #2. On May 22nd, a search warrant was executed at apartment #2 and the following items were seized: approx. 17 grams of “crack” cocaine in 9 separate baggies, 58 grams of cannabis in 26 baggies, a mask, scales, loaded .380 caliber handgun, magazine and 9mm rounds and drug paraphernalia. Detectives were also able to determine that two individuals that left apartment #2 just prior to the search warrant were staying with the resident in apartment #1.

 

Detectives observed cannabis cigarettes on the window sill of apartment #3 and as a result obtained a search warrant that same day on May 22nd. The following items were seized: approx. 27 grams of “crack” cocaine in 2 separate baggies; 3 cannabis cigarettes, approx. 22 grams  of cannabis in a baggie; a 40 caliber handgun; and a 38 caliber round along with a box of .357 caliber rounds.

 

On May 23, a confidential source informed LPD that deliveries of controlled substances resumed at apartment #3 and this same day a confidential source purchased “crack cocaine and cannabis from an occupant inside of apartment #3.

 

On June 11, 2014, a second search warrant was obtained for apartment #3 and the following items seized: approx. 12.31 grams of “crack” cocaine, 52 grams of cannabis, and 4 pipes used to inhale cocaine.

 

In July, detectives recovered two additional firearms from a vehicle that had just left the parking lot of 919 North Iowa Avenue. Two individuals that were identified in the parking lot were staying with a resident in apartment #1. Detectives testified that the illegal controlled substance activities occurring on the property have involved all 3 units of the property including that the tenant residing in apartment unit #1 had direct knowledge of the illegal controlled substance activity occurring in units #2 and #3 of the property.

 

Lakeland Police Department General Counsel Roger Mallory presented an overview of the case to the to the Nuisance Abetment Board stating that it constitutes a “public nuisance”.

 

The Nuisance Abatement Boards findings were:

 

1. The entire Property, apartment #1, #2 and #3 has a reputation as a location where controlled substances are illegally possessed and can be illegally purchased.

2. The Boards finds that qualifying illegal controlled substances activity is inextricable intertwined with the entire property.

3. The Boards finds that a period of closure of the property for 1 year is necessary to discourage continued unlawful controlled substance activity on the Property and to abate the public nuisance.

 

 

Closure will take place:

August 20th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Location:  919 N. Iowa Avenue.

The doors and windows will be boarded up at that time as well

as a sign being posted in the front yard stating that property is closed as a drug nuisance.

 


SIGN UP TODAY FOR THE LAKELAND ELECTRIC CUSTOMER ACADEMY
CLASS STARTS SEPTEMBER 9TH


The Lakeland Electric Customer Academy is a free, interactive informational program that allows you, our customer, the opportunity to gain insight into your community-owned electric utility and discuss energy industry “hot topics” with subject matter experts.  

The academy will consist of six (6),  two-hour evening sessions, with sessions held on every other Tuesday from 6-8 p.m.  Refreshments will be served prior to each session between 5:30-6:00 p.m. Participants are highly encouraged to attend all six sessions to get the most from the program.  Class size is limited to the first thirty (30) Lakeland Electric customers.

 Academy Topics include:

  • Explanation of Electricity—from generation to billing
  • Power Plant and Substation Tours
  • Accessing your “Smart Meter” information on the web
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Utility financials and rate structures

Sign Up Online at bit.ly/1tiXhQ9

 


SCAM ALERT

INDIVIDUALS IMPERSONATING LAKELAND ELECTRIC EMPLOYEES REQUESTING OVER THE PHONE PAYMENT


LAKELAND, FL (August 18, 2014) — Lakeland Electric customers beware of a current scam that involves an individual who calls and acts as if he is a representative of Lakeland Electric.  The scammers ultimately demand that a business provide some type of electronic payment over the phone in order to avoid a disruption in their service.

 

The caller does have a sophisticated piece of equipment that alters the caller ID.  The calls look as if they are coming from 863-834-9535 but the calls are actually coming from 305-514-9961. In all three of the known scam cases that have been reported, the caller had the victim’s business account number.  Sergeant Terri Smith with the Lakeland Police Department said, “The most concerning thing about these recent scams is the use of a City of Lakeland telephone number even though it is a false number. This may confuse some of our elderly and make them more vulnerable to these scams.” Smith said, "There are many ways that City of Lakeland account numbers can be obtained by scammers: by request because account names and numbers are considered public information; through mail theft; and by going through garbage and culling out discarded bills."

 

Basic Tips to Avoid Scams

·      DEAL LOCALLY WITH FOLKS YOU CAN MEET IN PERSON—follow this one rule and avoid 99% of scam attempts. Make sure you meet people in a public and secure place, such as your local police department lobby.

·      NEVER AGREE TO PURCHASE GIFT CARDS, GREEN DOT CARD, OR MONEY PACK CARDS and give the card numbers to someone over the telephone.

·      NEVER WIRE FUNDS VIA WESTERN UNION, MONEYGRAM or other wire service – if a business or unknown person asks then they are likely a scammers.

·      FAKE CASHIER CHECKS & MONEY ORDERS ARE COMMON—BANKS WILL HOLD YOU RESPONSIBLE when the fake is discovered weeks later. Contact your bank and work with them to establish whether or not a money order or check is fraudulent before you spend it or give anyone property in return for it.

·      NEVER GIVE OUT FINANCIAL INFORMATION (bank account number, social security number, eBay/PayPal info, etc.). If you get a call from your bank asking for anything like this, hang up and call your bank independently to verify information.

 

Lakeland Electric would never call a customer and demand a bankcard, prepaid credit card or even a retail card such as a prepaid Wal-Mart, Walgreens or CVS card.  Lakeland Electric customers are encouraged to sign up for eServices by visitingwww.lakelandelectric.com.  Through eServices, customers can monitor their energy usage, receive text notifications and pay their utility bill via a secure network connection.  Customers are encouraged to call a real representative at Lakeland Electric (863-834-9535) if they have been involved in a possible scam by someone claiming to be a Lakeland Electric employee.