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Cedar Key police were kept on the run Memorial Day weekend when two people — an 18-year-old man and a juvenile — from Chiefland broke into several cars and at least one, possibly two homes in the Paroda, Whiddon and Shellcrest avenues area.
But the thefts are on the way to being solved with the arrest of one person and the search for a second person — a juvenile, said Police Chief Virgil Sandlin.
On Friday, CK Police Officer Mike Cosseboom caught a break in the case when he stopped a vehicle suspected of being in the area of the burglaries at the time they were committed. The stop resulted in the arrest of Zachary David Armlin, 18, of Chiefland who is charged with dealing in stolen property and burglary of three vehicles and one residence. His bond is $60,000.
Cosseboom recovered one of the stolen items — a metal detector — from the stopped vehicle. Sandlin said other personal items taken in the thefts have also been recovered.
Sandlin said the department obtained the name of a 17-year-old juvenile suspect from Chiefland and had a deal with the parent for the child to surrender at the Levy County Sheriff's Office on Monday. But by noon Tuesday the juvenile had failed to surrender. The chief said an arrest warrant was being obtained from the county judge.
Sandlin said the burglaries occurred on the night of Monday, May 28. Personal items and equipment valued at about $5,000 were taken from two vehicles. There were break-ins at two residences with one resulting in the theft of a volunteer firefighter's radio and other personal items valued at $4,500. The value of items in the other break-in was not known because the home's owners are part-time residents who will not return for several months, Sandlin said.
Sandlin said another burglary occurred on Tuesday afternoon when a Troy-bilt generator, tools and a cordless chain saw were taken from a residence on Gulf Boulevard.
"We are on top of this," Sandlin said. "A lot of this is going to be juveniles. We have been so blessed that we haven't experienced the burglaries that other places have.
"But with the assistance of the citizens of Cedar Key we will be able to prevent and solve these cases."
He also issued a reminder to residents and visitors that Cedar Key has a curfew for juveniles under 18. All are required to be off city streets by 11 p.m.
"We will be strictly enforcing this," Sandlin said.