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News Story
Updated: 08/07/2014 05:10:58PM

Deputies arrest pair for car filled with stolen merchandise

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Marcus White

Dalma Serrano

Clint Charles Englund

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Two Winter Haven people were charged with taking items from a Publix supermarket in Lakeland on Thursday, July 31.

Dalma Serrano, 32, 2120 Kings Crossing St. SW, Winter Haven, and Marcus White, 43, 3420 Ave. T, NW, Winter Haven, were being detained by store loss prevention personnel after trying to leave the store with merchandise they had not paid for and that they had attempted to conceal, the sheriff’s office reports.

A silver, 2000 Pontiac Grand Am, was located at the nearby Starbuck’s parking lot and inside, in plain view on the backseat were new clothing items with tags and large amounts of household merchandise. Serrano told detectives the Grand Am was her vehicle and gave detectives consent to search inside.

Detectives located 24 new children’s outfits, six pairs of men’s shorts, nine school uniform polo shirts, one pair each of school uniform shorts and pants, 13 bags of Tide Pods detergent, six bags of Gain Flings detergent, 11 bottles of Dawn dish soap, and four cans of Febreeze spray. It is worth an estimated $1,000 worth of merchandise.

Post Miranda, Serrano admitted to stealing the recovered merchandise from the Kmart store, 4717 S. Florida Ave., and the Dollar General Store, 3111 U.S. Highway 98 S. Lakeland.

White stated he knew Serrano was stealing merchandise from Kmart, Dollar General Store, and the Winn-Dixie Store located off Edgewood Drive in Lakeland, but that he was not involved.

During the investigation, security video was obtained from the Kmart store which captured both Serrano and White allegedly concealing clothing merchandise while inside the business. The PCSO says the video showed the couple exiting the store without purchasing the items.

Both were charged with retail theft at multiple locations within a 48-hour period. Both were booked in the Polk County jail without bond. The investigation is ongoing.

White was released from Florida State Prison on June 17, after being incarcerated for grand theft, and petit theft, according to reports, and has been in the Polk County Jail 29 times and in prison three times. Among the arrests in the state of Florida, White has a total of 36 felony charges, 49 misdemeanor charges, 13 unknown level charges, and four failure to appear charges, the sheriff’s office reports.

Serrano has been in the Polk County Jail four previous times, most recently in March 2014 on charges of failure to appear, the sheriff’s office reported.

Man killed in traffic wreck

At approximately 7 p.m., on Thursday, July 31, a gold, 2011 Hyundai Sonata being driven by Heidi L. Carmichael, Lake Hunter Drive, Lakeland, was stopped at the intersection of New Tampa Highway and southbound Clark Road, in Lakeland.

According to witness information, the traffic signal turned green and Carmichael began to travel through the intersection.

At the same time, Howard D. McKinley, Barron Drive, Plant City, driving a blue, 2004 Suzuki Marauder motorcycle, was traveling westbound on New Tampa Highway and entered the intersection through the red light; it appeared McKinley laid the motorcycle down on its left side in an attempt to avoid collision, according to reports.

The motorcycle appeared to have clipped the left rear bumper of the Sonata as it slid on its side, the sheriff’s office reports. Neither vehicle sustained significant damage, however, prior to impact, McKinley was ejected from the motorcycle and came to rest in the center of the intersection.

McKinley sustained significant injuries. His motorcycle came to rest west on the intersection in the westbound lane of travel. The Sonata made a controlled stop approximately 50 feet south of the intersection.

Lakeland Fire and Polk Medics responded to the scene and transported McKinley to Lakeland Regional Medical Center as a trauma alert. Shortly after arriving at LRMC he was declared dead by hospital staff.

Carmichael was wearing her seat belt and there was no air bag deployment.

McKinley did not appear to have been wearing his helmet at the time of the crash, the sheriff’s office reports. Speed and impairment do not appear to be factors on his part.


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