Man Steals $20K Worth Of Guns, Jewelry And Cash

A man was caught just minutes after stealing an estimated $20,000 worth of items from two houses, including a handgun, jewelry and cash.

According to the Winter Haven Police Department, Polk County deputies responded to a possible overdose at the Cypress Gardens RV Park after the mother of 22-year-old William Joseph Yerke called 9-1-1. Yerke left before deputies could arrive.

Within an hour, a 9-1-1 call was received by a resident on Bent Grass Drive regarding a burglary that had just occurred. The homeowner of 7341 Bent Grass Drive reported hearing rustling of window blinds in a bedroom of the home.

The homeowner then found a glass door ajar and saw a male matching the description of Yerke standing on a back screened-in porch.

About 15 mins later, another 9-1-1 call came in from the homeowner at 7333 Bent Grass Drive. The homeowner there returned home to find the home burglarized. The back patio and a door leading to the garage had been left open.

Police continued searching the area for the burglary suspect while deputies went back to the original location where Yerke’s mother had called. Yerke was located at the residence and turned over to Winter Haven Police. Yerke had all of the stolen jewelry and money in his possession. The stolen weapon, which he dropped while inside of the 7341 Bent Grass Dr. residence, was recovered and returned to the owner at 7333 Bent Grass Dr.

He was placed under arrest and is charged with two counts of Grand Theft, two counts of Armed Burglary, and one count of Grand Theft with a Firearm.