Release by Polk County Sheriff’s Office:
Sunday afternoon, a black 2009 Toyota Corolla was stuck in an orange grove near the intersection of Lake Mabel Loop Road and HL Smith Road in Dundee. It’s not really surprising since Corollas are not the vehicle of choice when it comes to navigating through orange groves.
Deputies arrived in the area and one of them saw 15-year-old Jeremiah walking.
Jeremiah told the deputy that the car was his aunt’s, and it got stuck because the brakes stopped working. That story could have made sense. Except the car did not belong to his aunt, it was stolen, and what’s a 15-year-old doing driving a car by himself?!? 15-year-olds don’t have a lot of experience with sugar sand in an orange grove.
Out came the handcuffs, off went Jeremiah, and the chase was at hand. Or afoot.
Jeremiah was a much better runner than he was a driver or excuse maker. After losing sight of him during a foot pursuit, deputies brought in a ringer…someone who is very hairy and has a cold, wet nose.
K9 Mako arrived and tracked Jeremiah to a shed on Bagley Road, and the run was done. Good boy! Mako, not Jeremiah.
A detective spoke with Jeremiah, and the boy confessed to stealing the car in Kissimmee three days prior.
Jeremiah was transported to the Juvenile Assessment Center in Bartow and charged with Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle, Burglary, and Resisting.