Two juveniles and an adult led police on a chase from Polk County to Tampa after reportedly robbing a convenience store on Monday, November 20th.
Traffic came to a halt in Tampa on Monday after the police chase ended with a crash near exit 2 on I-4.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office arrested a 16-year-old girl, a 17-year-old boy and 20-year-old Dustin Cheasebro, of Lakeland for robbery with a firearm and conspiracy to commit armed robbery. The 16-year-old is also being charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, petit theft, and VOP.
Deputies say the 16-year-old stole a vehicle from 47-year-old Jodi Sirard, a Department of Children and Families Employee, and reportedly committed an armed robbery at a Lakeland convenience store with the 16-year-old and Cheasebro. The 16-year-old had just been released from the Juvenile Assessment Center for VOP on a battery charge and was at the DCF office with Sirard waiting to be transported to a group home. The teen reportedly went into Sirard's purse and took her car keys and stole Sirard's 2016 Nissan Rogue from the parking lot.
"How many examples of juveniles committing serious crimes do we need for the Department of Juvenile Justice to understand this is a problem? We have a 16-year-old and a 17-year-old committing robbery with a firearm and fleeing from officers in a pursuit. They are lucky they didn't hurt themselves or anyone else. I'm thankful for the Lakeland Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, and Florida Highway Patrol for their assistance in getting these dangerous suspects behind bars." - Grady Judd, Sheriff.
On Monday, Lakeland Police located the vehicle in the Kathleen area and attempted to pull the vehicle over but the teens would not pull over and a police chase was initialed by Lakeland Police Department. The two teens and adult traveled from Polk County to Tampa, ending in a crash on I-4.
Police activity blocked all lanes on I-4 westbound approaching I-275 in Tampa on Monday morning for about an hour.
The driver, identified as the 17-year-old, ran from the scene on foot, leaving behind four additional occupants in the vehicle, according to Tillett.
LakelandPD K9 apprehended the driver a short distance away. The driver and four additional occupants were then transported to Tampa General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The area surrounding the crash was cordoned off with assistance from the Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Florida Highway Patrol.
Traffic started to flow again in the area, but delays were experienced.