LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Three teenage boys were arrested Wednesday for a string of burglaries in Lakeland after deputies said one of them accidentally shot himself with a gun they stole.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said the boys, two of them 14 years old and another 16 years old, face armed burglary, burglary of conveyance, grand theft of a firearm, conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit theft, possession of firearm by juvenile, possession of personal identification and petit theft charges.
Deputies said the boys are responsible for six burglaries that happened early Tuesday morning in Lakeland’s Cherry Lane Estates neighborhood.
Around 9:11 p.m. Wednesday, PCSO said they were called to a home in the Medulla Oaks neighborhood for a report of an accidental shooting. The neighborhood is right next to the one where the burglaries took place.
When they arrived, they found one of the 14-year-old boys had accidentally shot himself in the arm.
Two of the boys claimed they were asleep when the gun went off and didn’t know where the gun was, according to deputies. They also said they found the gun.
When deputies went to search one of the boy’s rooms, they said they found a wallet with a woman’s ID inside, as well as a debit card from another woman nearby. They also found an ammunition magazine behind the headboard of the bed.
PSCO said after they showed the boys the evidence, they admitted to the six burglaries and brought deputies to where they hid two guns stolen in the burglaries.
“Most car burglaries occur to vehicles that are left unlocked, and as a law enforcement officer, that is very frustrating,” Polk Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Even more frustrating is when a firearm is stolen from an unlocked vehicle. Fortunately, the boy should have a full recovery, and hopefully everyone involved has learned some valuable lessons here.”
Two of the boys were taken right to the Juvenile Assessment Center. The boy who shot himself was treated at the hospital before being taken to the JAC.