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Author: LPD PIO

LPD PIO's Blog

Roof Top Burglary

On January 29th, sometime 11:00pm, unknown suspects entered the business, Painting with a Twist, 3670 Harden Blvd by going through an access point on the roof. Once inside this business, the suspects cut a hole in the drywall and entered Midas Jewelers, 3666 Harden Blvd. After gaining access into Midas, the alarm was disabled and the suspects gained entry into the safe. An undetermined amount of jewelry was stolen from the safe and display cabinet.  An inventory is being conducted at this time and there is no estimated dollar amount available.

Detectives and Crime Scene Technicians processed the scene of both businesses and the rooftop collecting evidence. Anyone with information should contact Det. Neal Robertson at 863-834-6971.

Stolen Retired FDLE Agents Handgun & Badge

On January 26, 2013 at approx. 4:30pm, a retired Florida Department of Law Enforcement Agents badge and Glock 9mm handgun was stolen from his vehicle. The vehicle burglary occurred in the parking lot of Tucker’s Southside Package and Lounge, 1122 S. Florida Avenue. Entry was gained by smashing out the rear window of the vehicle. Also stolen in the vehicle was a black canvas briefcase, money, personal checks and a driver’s license.

A witness observed a navy blue, possibly Chevy Impala, mid 80’s with a quarter vinyl top in the area driven by a black male, 20 to 30 years of age. Anyone with information in reference to this case, please contact Det. Alton Masters at 834-8976.

A picture of a handgun and badge similar to the ones stolen is pictured.

Aggravated Battery Shooting

On January 19, 2014, at approximately 1:51 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the Elks Lodge, 1026 N. Texas Avenue in reference to a shooting. Victim #1, Willie Williams,33, and his cousin got into a physical altercation inside the lodge after the cousin accidentally stepped on the suspects foot. The altercation moved outside the lodge at which point the suspect walked off briefly and returned within minutes shooting Williams a total of 5 times. Williams is listed in critical condition at LRMC.

Victim #2, Gregory Burgess, 23, was an innocent bystander outside the lodge and was shot once in the lower leg, possible by a bullet that exited Williams. Burgess drove himself to the Lakeland Regional Medical Center.

Victim #3, Darielle Kirkland, 23, was hit once in the face with the handgun knocking him to the ground. The handgun fired another round when Kirkland was struck. An unknown patron at this point kicked Kirkland in the head and knocked him unconscious.

The suspect has been identified as:

Sylvester Nathaniel Smith, Jr.
DOB 6/6/82
350 24th Street NW
Winter Haven, Fla 33880
•Known to frequent the North Iowa area in Lakeland

An arrest affidavit has been obtained for Smith charging him with Aggravated Battery with a Firearm (3 cts) and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.

Smith should be considered armed and dangerous and anyone with information on his whereabouts should call 911 or they can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.




Arrest Made in Bicycle Fatality Accident

Byers Levy, 59, a bicyclist riding around Lake Hollingsworth was struck and killed by Ronald L. Akins, 75 on September 8, 2013. The Follow-up investigation was conducted by LPD Traffic Homicide Investigator Michael Catalano. A Florida Department of Law Enforcement analysis of the blood sample taken from Akins tested positive for ethanol, specifically, Ethyl alcohol levels of 0.099 and 0.101 g/100 mL of blood. For drivers over 21 the legal limit in Florida is .08.

Based on this information, Ronald Akins was arrested on 1/21/14 and charged with Driving Under the Influence resulting in a death, a second degree felony.