Lake Wales Police Recover Stolen Property Valued At Over $400,000
Additional Suspects in Theft Ring Sought by Detectives
Last updated 2/28/2023 at 4:17pm
Lake Wales Police have recovered more than $400,000 worth of stolen property and arrested a 51-year-old man suspected of dealing in stolen property.
The Friday February 17, arrest of Billy Joe Byrd by Lake Wales Police detectives came after they received a tip that stolen property was being stored at 254 N Miami Street in Lake Wales. Police are seeking others involved in a wide-spread theft and fencing operation.
Detectives obtained permission from the property owner before conducting a lengthy search of the heavily wooded property, located just north of Lake Weaver only three blocks from SouthState Bank. There they located stolen property including two Ford Cobra Jet drag race cars valued at approximately $100,000 each, along with a two-story Haulmark car hauler trailer stolen from Lake Placid.
They also recovered a 32-foot Avenger travel trailer, an 18-foot open trailer, and a Polaris ATV, all of which had been reported stolen to the Polk County Sheriff's office. That property was reportedly taken from a location on Highway 60 East of Lake Wales.
Also recovered was a 23-foot Skeeter bay boat reported stolen from Manatee County, and a 16-foot Fisher bass boat reported stolen in Bartow, along with an assortment of lawn equipment, power equipment, tools and other items, and an enclosed trailer containing household furniture reported stolen in Highlands County
Byrd was charged with dealing in stolen property and transported to the Polk County jail.
Lake Wales police report that "there are other suspects in the case, with more charges expected as the investigation continues." Detectives from Lake Wales are working with investigators from other agencies to bring charges on all those involved.
Detectives are also asking for assistance from anyone with knowledge of the thefts and suspects to contact Police, you may be eligible for a cash reward. Anyone with information about the case that is not an emergency please contact Detective David Arana at 678-4223. A tip may also be made anonymously and be eligible for a CASH REWARD through Heartland Crime Stoppers by:
• Caliing 1-800-226 TIPS (8477) (From your cell phone, dial **TIPS)
• Visiting the website http://www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com and click on "Submit A Tip,"
• Downloading the free "P3tips" app on your smartphone or tablet.