Local News

Seven charged with Lake Placid home invasion

AVON PARK - Seven people were arrested Tuesday and charged with forcing into a Lake Placid home when the home's six occupants were sleeping and robbing them, authorities said.

Those arrested and charged are the following: Chase Allen Cody, 21, 2205 Golden Age Villas, Avon Park; Samantha Ashle-Rose Haralson, 19, 2205 Golden Age Villas, Avon Park; Brian Stanley Jones Jr., 29, 703 W. State St., Avon Park; Jesse Lee Personette, 26, 17B E. Adams St., Avon Park; Devion Marcell Randolph, 22; Edwardo Luis Rodriguez, 26, 2205 N. Desoto Ave., Avon Park; and Mark Anthony Tish, 22, 1634 Wightman Ave., Sebring.

Highlands County Sheriff's Office's Central Dispatch received the 911 call at about 2 a.m. Tuesday, states a Highlands County Sheriff's Office news release.

As detectives gathered evidence, "there was sufficient information developed and detectives received a search warrant from the courts on a home at 2205 Golden Age Villas in Avon Park," the news release adds.

Authorities found "evidence of the robbery" there and "ultimately encountered" the seven, the news release adds.

All seven were charged with battery, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault with a weapon, burglary and robbery with a firearm.

Sheriff Susan Benton, meanwhile is asking the public "to call us with any information on these seven people," the news release states.

"We believe that they and maybe others in their group have victimized additional persons in our community and with your help we can not only hold these criminals in jail but hopefully keep them out of the community for a long time," she said.

Detectives have already linked these suspects to other robberies in Highlands County and further charges are pending, the news release adds.

Anyone with information is requested to contact the Highlands County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Unit and detective Nathan Coogan at 863-402-7341 or 863-402-7250.

Anyone with information who wants to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-TIPS(8477), or go to www.heartlandcrimestoppers.com

All seven remained in Highlands County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon.