Bartow police are searching for Javon Ramon Walker, who they suspect shot and killed a 22-year-old man Saturday night. Police have a warrant to arrest the 39-year-old suspect with second-degree murder.
According to Sgt. David Wyant, Walker may have left the city and police are actively looking for him.
On Saturday witnesses told police they saw Kamorri Collins and Javon Ramon Walker arguing and Walker left the area. He returned about 20 to 30 minutes later and came back with a gun and allegedly shot Collins in front of Azalea Gardens at about 3:30 a.m.
Walker has served three prison sentences since 1995 for aggravated battery with intent to harm, aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, selling cocaine and burglary.
Collins was among 27 people arrested by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office earlier this month in a drug investigation on various marijuana charges. He bonded out of jail on Dec. 23.
Wyant said there is no evidence showing that Collins’ recent arrest has anything to do with the shooting. Though both men have Lakeland addresses, Wyant said both have been living back and forth in Lakeland and in Bartow.
Anyone with information about Walker’s location should call Bartow police at 863-534-5034 or Heartland Crimestoppers at 800-226-8477, where people can be anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.
Golf carts allegedly stolen from golf course
Two men were charged with trespassing as they were driving ATVs in an area where no trespassing signs are posted and they were also charged with stealing two golf carts from the Bartow Golf Course worth $6,000 each to ride in, the Bartow Police Department reports.
Paul S. Witmer, 18, of 1775 Bosarge Drive, Bartow, and Albert M. Castro, 18, of 1730 E. Oakwood Loop, were each charged with trespassing, burglary, grand theft and criminal mischief the Bartow Police Department reports.
On Dec. 19, a police officer responded to Bosarge Drive regarding an ATV that was driving on private property, and when he arrived he saw where the noise was coming from and it appeared to be Cedar Trail Landfill, police reported.
The area had posted signs that read no trespassing on a fence surrounding it. The officer saw headlights driving on the landfill and as the ATVs made their way to a cutout in the fence behind 1765 Bosarge, the officer met with Witmer and Castro. Both were charged.
While at the police department, police discovered that sometime overnight on Dec. 10-Dec. 11, Witmer and Castro allegedly forcibly entered through a chain-linked fence at the Bartow Golf Course and took two EZ-Go golf carts. They then drove the vehicles to 1775 Bosarge Ave., where the vehicles were stored.
A neighbor said she saw the vehicles there on Dec. 14, police reported.
When officers responded to the trespassing call, they saw them driving in the vehicles that were taken from the golf course, police reported.
One defendant let officers know he did not know how the vehicles arrived at their present location and he had no involvement with their thefts. He also did not provide any other additional information about the thefts, police reported.
Police have determined there was more than $1,000 damage to each vehicle.
Cashier charged with grand theft
A cashier at Walmart was charged with grand theft and scheme to defraud Dec. 18 when she rung up two $53 gift cards for $500 and used one of them to buy $456.35 worth of merchandise, Bartow Police reported.
Latosha Denise Jones, 21, of 895 Childs Ave., Bartow, was booked into the Polk County Jail on the charges, police reported.
On Dec. 15, Jones’ cash drawer was missing $900. Upon investigation by Walmart it was determined Jones had a customer pay for two Walmart money cards at $53 each in two separate transactions, a police report shows. Jones then entered $500 onto the the two Walmart money cards, police reported.
Jones then left the store where she met with a man who was the customer who bought the money cards, police reported.
Reports say the man took one of the cards and Jones took the other.
On Dec. 18, Jones bought $456.35 worth of items which appeared to be mostly children’s clothes and household items, a police report shows.
Upon being questioned by a security officer at Walmart, Jones admitted to putting the incorrect amount of money into the register.
Door-to-door salesman arrested, team moves from town
In responding to complaints of a company going door-to-door to sell cleaning products the Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports it arrested Timothy Lamont Burgess, 48, of Riverdale, Ga., with home solicitation without a license though he has bonded out of jail.
Burgess was arrested on Monday.
And, in using a sales force to sell the cleaning products, the sheriff’s office reports that one of the salespeople was convicted in El Cajon, Calif., for raping and assaulting a teen and was sentenced to 80 years in prison in 2006.
According to a past news report “The Better Business Bureau has given an ‘F’ rating to the Georgia-based company due to the high number of complaints about sales practices, billing, customer service, products and refunds.”
Some have complained that the product is worthless, many complain about the aggressive sales tactics, and some said they were employees and complained that the company ripped them off.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives began receiving information and complaints in late December that people were seen soliciting in neighborhoods in and around the Lakeland area. People were complaining that the door-to-door salesmen were overly aggressive, rude, walking into open garages, looking into homes while at the front door, and walking around houses when there was no answer at the door, it reported. The solicitors were going door-to-door selling a cleaning product.
Upon more investigation, about 110 solicitors were staying at a north Lakeland motel at Interstate 4 and U.S. 98 and they were expected to remain in the area for the several weeks. On Saturday, Dec. 28 detectives made contact with Burgess at the north Lakeland motel where he was staying. Burgess told detectives he was the owner of T&B Sales, Inc., and managed “70 plus” employees who were soliciting around Polk County selling a cleaning product. Burgess said he and his employees have been staying at a motel in north Lakeland for several weeks and he had just arranged to extend their stay.
Burgess’ group was selling a product called Advantage Wonder Cleaner. Burgess could not provide a valid solicitation permit from Polk County, police reported. He claimed he was “taking orders” for the cleaner.
Detectives located several multi-passenger vans with North Carolina license plates in the hotel’s parking lot, all of which were registered to Timothy Burgess.
Through their investigation, detectives learned Burgess did not have a Polk County Tax Collector’s permit to operate in the area. He did not have a valid business license, police reported.
At 8 p.m., on Monday, Dec. 30, detectives returned to the north Lakeland motel and asked Burgess if he had obtained the proper permits for residential solicitation. Burgess said he did have a permit and escorted detectives to another room in the motel where he produced what appeared to be a tax identification document. Burgess was then asked if he had a valid Polk County Home Solicitation permit to which he said he did not. He was then arrested, the sheriff’s office reported.
Burgess then told one of his managers to have “everyone pack their things and leave the hotel and to leave the county.” Burgess advised them to go to a rest area in Orlando and wait for him to bond out of jail and he would meet them there. He said they would go to Jacksonville.
Detectives returned to the hotel approximately an hour after Burgess’ arrest, and saw employees of Burgess loading all the vans and trucks with their belongings.
Detectives contacted law enforcement agencies in the Jacksonville area to alert them to the possible arrival of Burgess and his group of employees.