WINTER HAVEN — Often times, members of the public want to know what they can do to help stop crime in their neighborhood.
The Polk County Sheriff has some advice for them: keep sending in tips whenever they think they know something about either a crime that’s been committed, or someone who may have been involved in one.
Because it was thanks to anonymous tips from Polk County residents, Sheriff Grady Judd said, that led to the arrest of two armed robbery suspects and got them booked into the Polk County Jail less than 12 hours after they were suspected of robbing a BP gas station in Winter Haven on Tuesday.
“When citizens and law enforcement work together, we can make a positive difference,” Judd said after the two suspects were taken into custody. “We are proud of the valuable relationships and partnerships we have with our residents. These relationships are the key to our success in solving crimes, and keeping crime low in Polk County.”
This particular incident happened around 3 a.m. on Tuesday, when employees at the BP gas station at 2600 Havendale Boulevard in Winter Haven said two men walked into the convenience store, pointed a handgun at the clerk, and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.
The two men fled the store on foot.
After Polk County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, they used video surveillance photos of the two suspects taken from inside the store, and used these photos to ask for the public’s help in identifying the two men.
The photos were distributed to the local media to be broadcast for tips.
Later that afternoon, close to 3 p.m., deputies joined Probation and Parole Officers in going to 318 First St. in Auburndale, after getting a tip that one of the suspects might be hiding there.
Deputies were able to talk to 19-year-old Kyree Nicholas Goss of 1988 40th Street NW in Winter Haven, who is currently on probation. He was positively identified as one of the suspects in the BP robbery.
“A search of his residence resulted in the recovery of the clothing Goss was seen wearing in the video during the robbery,” noted Carrie Eleazer, public information officer for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, in her report on the case.
A second tip led deputies to Avenue T NW in Winter Haven, where they found the man believed to be Goss’ accomplice, 18-year-old Michael Meshawn Davis of 3816 Avenue T NW in Winter Haven.
“Davis admitted to being at the BP store with Goss that morning when the robbery occurred, wearing a stocking cap,” Eleazer noted, while adding that Goss is seen in the video surveillance wearing a red cloth on his head.
Davis, she added, “gave deputies the black BB gun used during the robbery.”
Goss and Davis were booked into the Polk County Jail and charged with armed robbery, while Goss also got charged with three counts of violation of probation.
Goss has been in the Polk County Jail on four prior occasions, Eleazer noted, for charges that include armed robbery, burglary with battery, burglary, grand theft, retail theft, and resisting arrest.
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