Winter Haven neighbors help police catch suspected burglar
10:58 AM, Sep 16, 2013
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -
A New Port Richey man was arrested in Winter Haven after observant citizens became suspicious while he walked around their community.
A resident in the Lake & Golf Community off Lucerne Park Rd. called a neighbor to watch after seeing a man, later identified as Peter D. StClair, enter the subdivision.
StClair, 23, was seen entering a carport attached to a home in the neighborhood, open the car door and remove items from the vehicle, according to Winter Haven Police.
Both residents followed him on their golf carts and attempted to confront him. However, StClair avoided the residents and exited the subdivision, walking across the street to get into a vehicle.
As police were called, the citizens kept a visual on the vehicle and reported to officers the direction of travel.
Officers pulled over the suspect vehicle for a traffic stop. Officers learned that the vehicle had been reported stolen out of Pasco County on Friday. Items taken from residents at Lake & Golf were also located in the vehicle.
"This is a perfect example of citizens being the eyes and ears for law enforcement in their own neighborhood," said Chief Gary Hester. "Their diligence helped us not only catch a thief, but also return property, including the stolen car, to their rightful owners."
StClair was charged with two counts of burglary, grand theft, motor vehicle theft and driving with a suspended license.