LPD News Blog


Stay informed with the Lakeland Police Department News Blog.

On April 3rd at 7:39 p.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to 200 North Galloway Road in reference to a traffic crash. One of the vehicles involved in the crash, 2005 Buick Rendezvous, had been reported stolen to the Lakeland Police Department earlier that morning at 9:05 a.m. The owner of the stolen vehicle had entered his residence leaving the vehicle unlocked and the keys in the ignition. He was in his residence briefly and when he comes back out, his vehicle was stolen.

Prior to the accident, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) was conducting traffic enforcement when they attempted to stop the speeding stolen Buick Rendezvous as it traveled south bound on Galloway Road near the intersection of Sutton Road. The vehicle fled from a PCSO Deputy and he discontinued his efforts to stop the vehicle to include turning off his emergency lights and turning away. The deputy never got close enough to get a tag number or identify the driver. For additional details on PCSO involvement, please contact their Public Information Officer, Carrie E. Horstman.

At the scene of the crash, LPD officers observed the stolen Buick Rendezvous facing north on its right side on the east shoulder of the roadway. The other vehicle, 2004 Toyota 4 Runner, was facing south on the east shoulder of the roadway with the driver deceased in the drivers set. The driver of the Toyota 4 Runner was not wearing a seat belt.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the stolen Buick Rendezvous was traveling north on Galloway Road North. It appears that the stolen Buick crossed the center double yellow line and hit the Toyota 4 Runner head on.

The stolen Buick Rendezvous rotated and came to a final rest facing north on its side on the east shoulder of the roadway. The Toyota 4 Runner rotated and came to a final rest facing south on the east shoulder of the roadway. No tire marks were observed to indicate breaking from either vehicle.

The stolen Buick Rendezvous was occupied by six males, all of which were transported to Lakeland Regional Health for various injuries except for one juvenile who was airlifted to Tampa General Hospital. Detectives are still trying to verify names, address and date of birth of all the occupants.  It appears at this time that there were 3 juveniles and 3 adults in the vehicle, one of which had a loaded handgun in his pocket.  Five of the occupants were stable with serious injuries and unconscious.

The driver of the stolen Buick Rendezvous has not been identified as of yet. Traffic homicide investigators and detectives will follow-up with the State Attorney’s Office as the investigation continues and at this time, no charges have been filed.

The deceased driver of the Toyota 4 Runner has been identified as Matthew John Smith, 31 years of age of Lakeland. Next-of-kin has been notified.

Chief’s Chat Canceled for April 6th

The Chief’s Chats held at the Lakeland Police Department have now moved to a quarterly Chief’s Chat with the next one scheduled for June 1st. We have also changed the format of the meeting to give you more time for a question & answer session with Chief Giddens. The September Chiefs Chat has been moved one week to September 14th due to Labor Day. The meetings will still be held at LPD. We will send out a press release and update our social media sites as the dates get closer.

In addition, we have launched “Coffee with the Chief” every three months with the first one being held on April 29th, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. at The Village Inn, 3770 Lakeside Village Ct. “Coffee with the Chief” will be alternated between north and south Lakeland locations. The coffee is on us as we discuss our plans to make Lakeland a Safe Community to visit, work, live, and raise a family. More on this event will be posted in the upcoming weeks.

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, a vehicle burglary occurred at the Hobby Lobby, 3615 S. Florida Avenue. An unknown person removed a wallet containing cash and credit/debit cards and miscellaneous items from the vehicle.   

At approximately 8:00 p.m., an unknown person used one of the credit cards at Home DePot, 2805 Highway 98 N to purchase a 5000 watt PowerStroke generator.

Anyone who has information on the identification of this individual is asked to contact Lakeland Police Detective Conaster at 863-834-6954, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.

LPD Event #15-5204  -  Detective Conaster  -  Bulletin CS #15-19

Eladio Lorenzo Crespo
31 years old
H/M, 5’8”, 130 lbs.
Brown hair, Brown eyes
LKA: 1315 W 14th Street #I 105

Mr. Crespo was last seen at 7:20 a.m. on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 at 1315 W 14th Street #I 105. Joan Camacho, his mother, reported him missing.

Mr. Crespo was last seen wearing blue pants and a black hoodie. He has a tattoo of a tribal with skulls on his top left arm.

Anyone with information on the location of Eladio Lorenzo Crespo is asked to contact Investigative Aide Charlene Ali at 863-834-8974 during business hours, or the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900 after 5:00pm.

LPD Event #15-5985  -  Investigative Aide Ali  -  Bulletin CS #15-15