LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — Three teenage brothers have been charged as suspects in a series of vehicle burglaries in the Lakeland area, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies said Malachi Thompson, 18, of Bartow and his two underage brothers face a total of 304 criminal charges after allegedly stealing three guns, ammunition, multiple credit/debit cards, identifications, and other stolen items.
According to the sheriff’s office, deputies responded to the Highland City area for a series of burglaries. A combined effort of K9 and aviation units found the three brothers hiding in a “large plant” in a resident’s backyard.
Deputies said the teenagers tried to run away, with them jumping a fence before being arrested.
The youngest brother told deputies he and his brothers met up in Wauchula and planned to burglarize the vehicles. The sheriff’s office said this brother served as the lookout since he was already on probation for previous thefts.
All three brothers have a criminal history, including grand theft charges.
Thompson alone faces the following charges:
- Conspiracy to Commit Vehicle Burglary (F3) (19 counts)
- Grand Theft of a Firearm (F3) (3 counts)
- Petit Theft (M2) (13 counts)
- Armed Burglary Dwelling/Vehicle (F1) (19 counts)
- Possession of Burglary Tools (F3) (19 counts)
- Use/Display of a Firearm during a Felony (F2) (1 count)
- Loitering/Prowling (M2) (3 counts)
- Wearing a Mask on the Property of Another (M2) (1 Count)
- Resisting a Law Enforcement Officer without Violence (M1) (5 counts)
- Interference with Custody of a Minor (F3) (2 counts)
- Wearing Mask/Hood on Public Property (M2) (1 count)
- Burglary of an Unoccupied Structure (F3) (1 count)
- Unlawful Possession of 5 or more Personal IDs (F3) (1 count)
- Carrying a Concealed Firearm (F3) (1 count)
- Trespassing (M1) (3 counts)
- Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor (M1) (2 counts)
The minors and their charges will not be identified in this article due to their ages.