Florida & polk county , winter haven news

Deputies Discover and Dismantle Chop Shop After Pasco Car Theft Victim Locates His Car Parks on Facebook Marketplace

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PCSO Press Release:


On February 25, 2020, the victim of a vehicle theft in Pasco County contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office to report that he found parts of his stolen Ford F350 pickup truck for sale on Facebook Marketplace, and had arranged to meet the seller on Willis Road in Mulberry, Florida.

PCSO detectives began an investigation, and identified the seller – they responded to Willis Road and interviewed him, during which he informed the detectives he purchased the truck parts from someone he met through Facebook Marketplace named Gary Williams.

Detectives immediately identified Williams (DOB 03/25/83) as a suspect who had been arrested by PCSO in 2013 for running a “chop shop,” including several stolen Ford trucks, U-Haul trucks, and other equipment that were dismantled and stored on Hillgrade Road in Mulberry. He was convicted in that case and spent four years in state prison – he was released in April 2018.

Detectives responded to the same property on Hillgrade Road from the 2013 case and spoke with Williams’ grandmother, who owns the property. She told detectives that Gary “brings his stuff” to store there but she doesn’t know if any of it is stolen. During an initial search, detectives located several vehicles with obscured/missing VIN numbers or license plates, vehicle parts, engines, transmissions, stripped vehicle frames, trailers, and heavy equipment such as skid steers.

On February 25th, they obtained a search warrant, and recovered:

  • parts from the original Pasco County victim’s stolen Ford F350 truck
  • the Pasco victim’s original sales receipt from Luxury Auto Mall from when he purchased the truck
  • a stolen Ford F150 truck from a September 2019 PCSO case
  • a stolen Ford F250 truck from a February 20th, 2020, Lake Wales P.D. case
  • a stolen flatbed cargo dump trailer from an April 2019 HCSO case
  • paperwork which appeared to be downloaded from the internet showing how to create unique pin stamping similar to what is used by vehicle manufacturers in the creation of stamped VIN, engine and transmission identification numbers
  • a box containing multiple vehicle key fobs and software to encode them to vehicles as well as OBD reader equipment for accessing computerized log and identification information stored in vehicle onboard computers
  • two AR15 rifles

On February 26th, they continued to search the property, along with representatives from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), Lake Wales PD, Tampa PD, and HCSO. Using heavy equipment and agricultural crimes deputies’ equipment, they recovered:

  • a blue Ford F250 truck reported stolen to Tampa PD
  • a tan Ford F350 truck reported stolen to Pasco SO
  • three Ford F250 trucks reported stolen to HCSO

Car bodies, frames, truck beds, doors, and components were strewn about and/or partially buried on the property and wooded area adjacent to it. Three Caterpiller skid steers were also located,and believed to be used to cut trails through the wooded areas and to bury parts. The investigation is ongoing to recover and identify stolen vehicles and vehicle parts.

Williams was arrested and so far has been charged with:

  • Dealing in stolen property (F2)
  • Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (F2)
  • 10 counts grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)
  • Conspiracy to commit grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)
  • Own/operate/conduct chop shop (F3)
  • Dumping/littering exceeding 500 lbs (F3)
  • Pollution (F3)
  • Operating unpermitted landfill (M1)
  • Burning tires (M1)
  • Waste tire violation (M1)
  • Poss/sale of motor vehicle with altered VIN (F3)
  • 21 counts violation of probation

Williams’ criminal history includes the following arrests and convictions:

  • 05/06/1998 – PCSO – Burglary with Assault or Battery; Grand Theft
  • 01/23/2002 – PCSO – Grand Theft; Burglary
  • 07/23/2002 – PCSO – Petit Theft
  • 12/02/2002 – Hillsborough SO – DWSLR
  • 06/28/2003 – Plant City PD – Grand Theft
  • 10/18/2003 – PCSO – Probation Violation
  • 03/02/2004 – PCSO – Possession of Weapon or Ammo by Convicted Felon; Probation Violation (sentenced to 2 years in prison)
  • 03/22/2004 – PCSO – Burglary; Grand Theft
  • 11/05/2009 – Hillsborough SO – DWLSR
  • 05/11/2013 – PCSO – Possess Vehicle with Forged Numbers; Burglary; Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle; Altered Property by Dealer of Property
  • 05/12/2013 – PCSO – Sell Vehicle with Altered Numbers (17 counts); Fail to Obtain Dep Permit Comply w/Law; Criminal Attempt Solicit Conspir 1st Deg Felony; Burglary (17 counts); Poss Burglary Tools with Intent to Use; Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle (18 counts); Organized Dealing in Stolen Property; Cultivate Marijuana; Poss Cannabis WIT Sell/Deliver; Traffic Marijuana; Obstructing Justice (7 counts) (sentenced to 5 years in prison)

He has 83 previous felonies, 3 misdemeanors, and has been to state prison twice. He was most recently released from prison in 2018.

An astute car theft victim combined with excellent police work led to the dismantling of yet another chop shop run by a well-known convicted felon, Gary Williams. During our 2013 chop shop investigation, we had to use heavy equipment and dig down 30 feet on this property to find evidence and stolen parts. Williams has proven he will go to extreme depths – literally – to conduct his criminal enterprise.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff

Detectives also found a blue Ford pickup truck in the driveway, that 30-year-old Joshua Bellamy (DOB 05/22/89) advised belonged to him. Inside the truck they found two firearms and two baggies containing cocaine and crack cocaine. They also found a VIN plate from a stolen Ford King Ranch pickup truck from a November 2019 Plant City P.D. case. Bellamy is currently on probation for the sale of cocaine.

Bellamy was arrested and so far has been charged with:

  • Possession of cocaine (F3)
  • Possession of paraphernalia (M1)
  • 10 counts grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)
  • Conspiracy to commit grand theft of a motor vehicle (F3)
  • Own/operate/conduct chop shop (F3)
  • Poss/sale of motor vehicle with altered VIN (F3)
  • 4 counts violation of probation

Bellamy’s criminal history includes the following arrests and convictions:

  • 04/05/2004 – PCSO – Burglary; Grand theft; Poss Burglary Tools
  • 04/23/2004 – PCSO – Grand Theft; Petit Theft
  • 11/04/2004 – Mulberry PD – Battery
  • 06/14/2007 – PCSO – Burglary
  • 03/18/2010 – Lakeland PD – Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon; Battery DV; Shoot Throw Missile Into Dwelling
  • 06/20/2012 – Lakeland PD – Battery DV
  • 08/19/2017 – PCSO – Battery DV
  • 02/01/2019 – PCSO – Traffic Cocaine; Poss Cocaine WIT Sell; Poss of Alprazolam Xanax (sentenced to 3 years probation)
  • Poss Marijuana; Poss Drug Para; Keep Shop Vehicle for Drugs
  • 05/28/2019 – PCSO – Order Revoking PTR (Trafficking Cocaine, Poss Alprazolam, Poss Cannabis, Poss Drug Para)
  • 11/28/2019 – PCSO – Poss of Suspended DL; KDWLSR; Poss More Than 1 Valid DL; Violation of Probation (Cocaine, Poss Controlled Substance, Poss Marijuana, and Poss Drug Para)

He has 11 previous felonies, 13 misdemeanors, and was sentenced to 3 years probation in 2019, due to end in August 2022.

Both suspects are in the Polk County Jail on no bond, and detectives will continue to recover and identify the numerous vehicle parts found on the property, which includes several acres. Further charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.

 

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