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Two teens arrested in burglary at home of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker

ST. PETERSBURG — Police have arrested two teens in connection with the burglary at Mayor Rick Baker's home Thursday.

Police early Friday arrested 15-year-old Jeffrey Fleming and 16-year-old Terrill Floyd on charges of burglary and dealing in stolen property.

Late Thursday night, police released the names of two other young men who were pulled over in a green Ford Thunderbird that Baker had seen leaving his home after the burglary.

Police took the men into custody and interviewed them, then arrested them on unrelated charges late Thursday night. Devin Boykins, 19, was arrested on a charge of driving without a valid license, while Donnell Wilson, 20, was arrested on a charge of possession of morphine.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said Friday that they are not suspects in the burglary and that he released their names late Thursday because he was being hounded by local media for information.

The burglary occurred shortly after noon as Baker came home to shower and change following the TASCO Extreme Mud Wars, a youth program for teens.

Baker interrupted the burglars, who ran out of his Old Northeast home carrying electronics. He memorized the green Ford Thunderbird's license plate and called police.

About five hours later, police spotted and arrested two men in a green Ford Thunderbird. The plate had the numbers and letters Baker provided, though a little out of order.

Proffitt said at that point, only 30 minutes before 6 p.m. local news broadcasts, he felt he had to release the information that two suspects had been taken into custody.

Proffitt said in a 5:45 p.m. release that two suspects matching the description were stopped and arrested.

"Four hours after the (burglary), it would be really normal to assume that they are the suspects," he said.

The men were interviewed by police and arrested, but not on charges connected to the Baker burglary. There wasn't enough evidence to connect them with the burglary, Proffitt wrote in a media alert, and they would be leaving the police station "within minutes" en route to jail.

Proffitt said he inserted that tidbit for the benefit of TV cameras and producers. It wasn't a perp walk, he said.

"We weren't staging anything," Proffitt said.

After further investigation, police learned the two teens loaned the car to an unidentified person, who in turn loaned it to Boykins and Wilson.

By midnight, investigators found the two teens, who police said admitted committing the burglary. A TV had been sold on the street, but a laptop computer was recovered, police said.

Two teens arrested in burglary at home of St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker 08/07/09 [Last modified: Friday, August 7, 2009 11:47pm]
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