FCSO Weekend Roundup February 24-25; Citizen and Dispatchers Use ‘Prepared Live’ Technology to Apprehend Burglary Suspect, Bitcoin Scammers Pose as Law Enforcement and Deputies Aid in Serious Traffic Crashes

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Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) deputies made 13 arrests this past weekend between 6 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2024, and 6 a.m. on Monday, February 26, 2024. They handled 520 calls for service and made 87 traffic stops.

“This weekend was a busy one, with our deputies responding to a variety of calls,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “It also proved how important cooperation is. The invaluable relationships our deputies have with our dispatchers and our partner agencies is critical to ensuring the safety of Flagler County residents.”

Dispatcher, Witness and Deputies Use ‘Prepared Live’ to Catch Burglary Suspect 

On Sunday, February 25 at approximately 3:30 a.m., a Palm Coast resident at the Integra Woods Apartment Complex called 911 after seeing a person in a red hoodie trying to open a car door with a screwdriver.

On the other end of the line was Communication Specialist First Class Ashlie Hicks, who sent the caller a link to “Prepared Live,” a software application FCSO unveiled last year that allows the caller to share their cell phone camera with dispatchers to show them what is going on in real-time.

After being connected, Communications Supervisor Jay Aldridge monitored the observed suspect’s actions and kept the responding deputies updated. When deputies arrived on scene the suspect fled on foot but because of the live stream through “Prepared Live” dispatchers were able to provide real-time updates, which assisted the deputies in locating the suspect, a 12-year-old boy who was found hiding under a stairway of the apartment complex. He had in his possession a screwdriver, mask, and latex gloves.

He was arrested for Burglary of an Unoccupied Conveyance, Resisting an Officer Without Violence, Criminal Mischief $200-$1000, Possession of Burglary Tools, and Trespass After Warning, since he had previously been trespassed from the apartment complex.

“This is a perfect example of how our Guardianship policing and our technology makes our community safer,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “A witness ‘saw something and said something’ and our amazing professionals in the Communications Center used the latest technology in partnership with the witness to be able to watch the crime unfolding in real-time and give responding deputies live updates resulting in a quick arrest. Sadly, this offender was only 12-years old, and he is already dressing and acting like an experienced adult criminal. He needs real and quick punishment to turn his life around now before he becomes a life-long criminal. Returning him to his parents who didn’t know he was out at 3 a.m. is not taking his actions seriously. I commend everyone involved that are ‘guardians’ of community working together.”

The juvenile suspect was taken to the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility for processing.  The Florida Department of Juvenile Justic declined to accept him, so he was released to the custody of his parents.

For the 911 call, Prepared Live feed, and Bodycam of the incident: https://bit.ly/3Tczzc5.

Scammers Pose as Law Enforcement to Steal Cryptocurrency 

On Saturday, February 24 at approximately 10:40 a.m., two subjects contacted a Palm Coast woman identifying themselves as the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department. They told the victim that they had an active warrant for failing to appear for jury duty. By the time she contacted FCSO, her husband had already withdrawn money and sent the scammers $3,500 in cryptocurrency.

“An old scam is circulating again,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “No law enforcement agency will ever call you to ask for money to avoid being arrested and we especially don’t ask for gift cards or cryptocurrency. If you receive a call like this, immediately hang up and call us directly. Never pay or send anyone money that you don’t personally know. Always verify and confirm the caller’s information.”

Deputies Responds to two Serious Traffic Crashes on Sunday including a Fatality

Sunday, February 25 just after 1:50 a.m., FCSO deputies assisted the Bunnell Police Department with traffic control and conducted a search of the area after a vehicle traveling north on State St. in Bunnell, collided with a tree in the median.

The driver of the vehicle, an unidentified black female was seen by multiple witnesses fleeing the area on foot. She was reportedly wearing a black shirt and blue jeans, with long black dreads, gold teeth and was covered in blood.

The vehicle later caught fire but Flagler County Fire Rescue were able to extinguish the blaze. Deputies deployed a drone in an attempt to locate the driver but were unsuccessful. They also contacted local hospitals in the area for a patient matching her description.

Later that morning, at approximately 10:42 a.m., three vehicles were involved in a severe crash near the Bimini Bar on State Road 100 West. One of the passengers died at the scene. Two others who had serious injuries were transported to Halifax Medical Center.

“I commend our deputies, Bunnell Police Officers and Fire-Rescue for doing everything they could to assist the victims of this tragic crash,” said Sheriff Staly.

Because of the fatality and other serious injuries, the Florida Highway Patrol responded and conducted the investigation.

By Julie Murphy

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