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LPD PIO
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On May 13th, the Lakeland Police Department began investigating a series of retail thefts from Macy’s Dept Store, 3800 N. Road 98. Between May 13th and June 10th, a subject was observed shoplifting on seven different occasions and each time he was able to elude apprehension.  Designer purses and clothing had been stolen which totaled approximately $10,000.00.  

On June 10th, Lakeland Police Detectives Mike Lewis and Det. Nicholas Pollice assisted Macy’s Loss Prevention by conducting a stakeout of the department store. At around 6:45pm, two suspects were observed entering the store and stacking up 26 pair of men’s shorts valued at $589.74. Both suspects worked together during the theft and exited the store without paying for the merchandise. To their surprise, they were greeted by the two detectives and taken into custody without incident.

Timothy J. Gillins, 39 yrs of age, was arrested and charged with Grand Theft. Gillins did not have any money on him but he did have an empty Macy’s bag concealed on his person.

Timethy Harmon, 25 yrs old, was arrested for Grand Theft, Possession of Cocaine and Possession of drug paraphernalia. Harmon did not have any money on him but he did have a crack cocaine pipe in his pocket at the time of his arrest.

This wasn’t Gillin’s first time in getting caught in the act by detectives. On January 29th, 2015, the Lakeland Police Department arrested Gillins for Grand Theft after a series off thefts from Dillard’s Department Store, 3800 N. Road 98. Detectives had once again conducted surveillance outside of Dillard’s and were able to apprehend Gillins for a theft in progress. He was charged with 3cts of Grand Theft in reference to the Dillard’s cases.

Both subjects are currently in the Polk County Jail. There is no video available of the theft. 


Chiefs Chat

Lakeland Police Department’s next Chief’s Chat will be held on Monday, June 1st, 2015 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in the Community Room of the Lakeland Police Department located at 219 N Massachusetts Avenue.

 


UPDATE...UPDATE.


The defendant was suspected of committing similar crimes in multiple jurisdictions and counties. On 5/27/15 the defendant was arrested by PCSO on a Hillsborough County warrant for the same crime. Circumstances and descriptions were consistent with the incident in Lakeland. A photo pack containing the likeness of the defendant was obtained.  He was identified by the victim and witness.

The defendant has been charged by the Lakeland Police Department with Kidnapping, Falsely Personating Law Enforcement Officer, Burglary to Occupied Conveyance and Petit Theft. He remains in the Polk County Jail.

Defendant:  Marco Felix Hernandez-Gonzalez, DOB 10/17/79. 

On May 24, 2015 at 2:47 p.m., the victim advised that he was pulled over by what he thought was a police officer after he left the Farmers Market, 2701 Swindell Road. The victim had his 12 year old brother-in-law with him at the time of the incident.

 

The victim was traveling west on Memorial Blvd in the area of Lone Palm Golf Course,  2855 W. Memorial Blvd, when he observed a vehicle behind him flashing his headlights on and off. The victim pulled over and a Hispanic male approached him telling him that he was a police officer and that he had some unsecured chairs in the back of his truck. The suspect asked the victim to get out of his truck and sit in the back of his vehicle. The suspect proceeded to search the victim’s truck. The brother-in-law, still in the passenger seat observed the suspect take the victim’s wallet. The keys were also taken by the suspect.

 

The suspect returned to his vehicle and got the victim out of his truck and then the suspect drove off.  The victim and brother-in-law were not injured.

 

The suspect is described as:

 

Hispanic male, unknown age (adult),  6’ and approx. 200 lbs., wearing a gray shirt, gray pants and dark colored shoes. Unshaven and balding.

 

The vehicle is described as a newer model Chev. Envoy, 4 dr, blue, unknown tag.

 

Anyone with similar incidents or information should call the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.


On May 19th, at approximately 12:05 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of 1010 Hollingsworth Drive in reference to an attempted sexual battery and kidnapping. The victim, 22, years of age stated she was jogging on the path around Lake Hollingsworth, heading southbound. The victim then glanced back and observed the suspect running up behind her. The suspect grabbed the victim from behind and dragged her off the pathway into a small wooded area between the lake and path. The victim was thrown to the ground and the suspect attempted to pull her shorts off.

The victim then began asking the suspect questions and talking to him calmly to divert his attention which seemed to work. The suspect and victim then got up and walked back to the path as the victim continued to engage the suspect in conversation. The victim then was able to break away from the suspect and flee at which time she called 911. The suspect fled in the opposite direction.

The suspect is described as a black male, 5’5”, in his mid 20’s, medium build, with plaited braids and a black doo rag. The suspect was wearing no shirt, black sweat pants, and white socks with gold writing on the toe.

Police K-9 and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office air unit responded to the area but were unable to locate the suspect. Detectives obtained the attached composite drawing from the victim’s description today.  

 Possible Related Incident

 On May 20, 2015 at approximately 9:35 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to the area of Lake Hollingsworth and Melton Avenue in reference to a subject performing lewd acts on himself.  The suspect in this case was a black male wearing a white shirt and dark pants and was in his mid 20’s. He appeared to be watching females walk the lake on the jogging path. The witness who was passing by stated the suspect was sitting on a bench in front of Florida Southern. Police officers circulated the area and were unable to locate the suspect.

If you have information about either of these cases, please contact Det. Paula Tolbert at 863-834-8981 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477. To remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward, you must contact Crime Stoppers.