OKEECHOBEE — Three teens were charged in a theft of law enforcement equipment after one allegedly sold the stolen items to another.
Armando Rodriguez, 18, was arrested Aug. 2 by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ryane Ammons and charged with four counts dealing in stolen property.
Jacob Hickman, 19, was charged with four counts possession of weapon/ammo by convicted felon, four counts of theft of law enforcement equipment, and four counts of dealing in stolen property. Bond was set at $180,000.
On Saturday, Aug. 1, Rodriguez was reportedly contacted by Hickman, who said he had some items to sell. Hickman went to the home of Rodriguez and reportedly showed him a Kel-tec SU16C, a Remington 970 shotgun, a bullet resistant vest and an X26 taser. Hickman reportedly told Rodriguez the items came from a cop. Hickman then gave the items to Rodriguez to sell for him. Video from Rodriguez’ security feed reportedly shows Hickman at the residence removing the items from the trunk of his car.
A third teen, Jacob Lawrence, 17 was also arrested and charged with burglary of a structure while armed, four counts of possession of weapon/ammo by convicted felon, and four counts of theft of law enforcement equipment. He was turned over to the Department of Juvenile Justice.
Lawrence was arrested in May of 2018, when he was 15 years old and charged with grand theft auto. In August 2018, he was arrested again and charged with unarmed burglary of a conveyance and, in September 2018, he was arrested and charged with burglary of a structure, grand theft of a motor vehicle and criminal mischief. In May of 2019, he was charged with burglary of an unoccupied structure.
Hickman was arrested Sept. 11, 2018 on charges of burglary of a structure, and grand theft-motor vehicle and criminal mischief. He was also charged with grand theft of a firearm and burglary of a conveyance while armed. He served one year in the county jail and was put on probation for five years.
The investigation is ongoing.