After starting their burglary spree on Dec. 16 and 17, three Citrus County men are in custody.
Between December 16, 2020, and Dec. 17, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) responded to multiple vehicle burglaries, attempts and auto thefts that occurred in the areas of Citrus Springs, Citrus Hills, Pine Ridge and Crystal River.
In the early morning hours of Dec. 17, deputies spotted Robert Walton driving one of the stolen vehicles in the area of North Tallahassee Road, Crystal River. After a short pursuit, Walton was taken into custody with the assistance of K9 Deputy Miller and his canine partner Anakin.
Shortly after the first arrest of Robert Walton, deputies were able to locate a second stolen vehicle near the area of the Lecanto Walmart. A short pursuit occurred, where two unknown subjects bailed out of the stolen car at the YMCA and fled on foot. These suspects were last observed running towards the area of Black Diamond.
A coordinated and concentrated effort was made to apprehend these two unknown individuals. The CCSO Aviation Unit, K9 deputies, along with Community Crimes Detectives and Patrol Deputies saturated the area.
As part of the search pattern, K9 deputies located a backpack containing multiple firearms. These firearms were stolen from unsecured vehicles throughout the county and abandoned as the two unknown suspects fled from law enforcement.
Detectives with the Community Crimes Unit began following up on investigative leads to identify the two fleeing subjects. Detectives were able to identify the two fleeing suspects as juveniles, being 17-year-old Rylan Walton and 16-year-old Seth Clarke. Detectives were able to obtain confessions from all suspects in connection to multiple cases.
“Cases like this emphasize the need for the diverse resources that make up the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office,” said Citrus County Sheriff Mike Prendergast.
“And at moments like this, every team member matters. Our Communications Officers, Patrol Deputies, Criminal Intelligence Analysts, and Crime Scene Specialists all worked in perfect harmony. It also reflects an all too occurring theme, a small percentage of criminals commit the most amount of crime.”
With the arrest of these three individuals, 11 CCSO cases were closed. The charges for each are as follows:
- Robert Walton was arrested for five counts of conveyance burglary, one count of burglary becoming armed, one count of grand theft firearm, three counts of petit theft, two counts of grand theft of a vehicle, 1count fleeing to elude, one count of resisting an officer without violence, one count driving while license suspended and violation of probation.
- Juvenile Rylan Walton was arrested for six counts of conveyance burglary, two counts of burglary becoming armed, two counts of grand theft firearm, four counts of petit theft, three counts of grand theft automobile, one count of criminal mischief, and one count of burglary of a structure.
- Juvenile Seth Clarke was arrested for six counts of conveyance burglary, three counts of burglary becoming armed, two counts of grand theft firearm, four counts of petit theft, three counts of grand theft automobile, and one count of criminal mischief.
The Citrus County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind citizens to secure their vehicles to deter crime. Please do not store unsecured firearms in your vehicles, as these are highly valued targets to thieves.
Together, the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of this county can help protect our community by #SecureitCitrus.