Two Winter Haven men have been arrested in connection with multiple fire extinguisher thefts from the Winter Haven Parking Garage, located at 220 Ave. A NW in Winter Haven. The most recent thefts were discovered on March 9, 2016 when four were taken from the boxes inside of the garage.
Twenty year-old Bray Alexander Woodard (DOB 4-22-95, Lake Shipp Dr., S) and 21 year-old Junior Frantz Abnert (DOB 12-19-94, Woodhill Ct., Winter Haven) have been arrested on grand theft charges of the fire extinguishers. At least ten fire extinguishers have been stolen with a total value of $2,000.
On March 11, 2016, Winter Haven Detectives obtained video from the parking garage that recorded the thefts of the four extinguishers on March 9. With a decent view of the truck used and a distinguishing sticker seen on the vehicle, Detectives were canvassing area neighborhoods when they located a truck with similar distinguishing sticker in the back window as seen on the truck that was captured in the video.
The truck, located on Lake Shipp Dr., S in Winter Haven was a red Ford Ranger.
As Detectives approached the front of the residence, a red fire extinguisher and a white powdery substance was visible in the bed of the truck along with a pile of leaves. Detectives made contact with Bray Alexander Woodard who, after being shown images from the video, stated that the vehicle seen in the images is his truck. Woodard, who stated he is a student at Polk State College studying for be a History teacher, told Detectives that the other person in the truck was Junior Frantz Abnert.
On March 13, 2016, Detectives contacted Abnert at his home and was interviewed. Abnert, who also stated he is a full-time student at Polk State College, was shows images from the parking garage and he confirmed he in fact was the person seen with Woodard in the video. He stated that after they took the fire extinguishers, they took them to a residence in Lakeland.
When Detectives questioned both Woodard and Abnert in regards to the fire extinguisher thefts in December 2015, Woodard told detectives he was a passenger in the vehicle seen in those photos and did take part in stealing a fire extinguisher. Abnert stated that he was in the back seat of the vehicle, but did not take a fire extinguisher.
Woodard was booked into the Polk County Jail on March 11, 2016 on two counts of Grand Theft. Abnert was booked into the Polk County Jail on March 13, 21016 on one count of Grand Theft. The investigation continues to positively identify the driver of the vehicle from the December incident and whether the driver participated in the thefts.