K-9 nabs burglary suspects

OKEECHOBEE — Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) K-9 Magnum had a busy Sunday night when he found two alleged burglary suspects who were reportedly trying to hide from deputies.

Willie Joe Harris, 38

Because of Magnum’s efforts Willie Joe Harris, 38, and Kimberly Kay Lyons, 33, were both arrested on a felony charge of burglary of an occupied dwelling, and misdemeanor charges of resisting a law enforcement officer without violence and loitering or prowling.
Both are being held on bond in the Okeechobee County Jail.

An arrest report by OCSO Deputy Jonathon Gove indicated he answered a home alarm on N.E. Second Street around 1:37 a.m. on July 17. As he was on his way, OCSO Deputy Sergeant Brian Hagan contacted the deputy by radio and said he had just seen a gold Dodge Neon leaving the area of the alarm. Sgt. Hagan went on to say the complainant told an OCSO dispatcher a car matching that description had just left their residence.

Kimberly Kay Lyons, 33

Deputy Gove, along with other deputies, began canvassing the area.

“I located a gold Dodge Neon in the drainage ditch on Northeast 64th Street, north of State Road 70,” stated Deputy Gove’s report. “The vehicle appears to have slid off the roadway into the ditch, and was abandoned.”

Deputy Gove went on to add he then saw a white male wearing dark pants and no shirt walking around a house and trying to open a door. That same man reportedly walked across the street to another home and tried to open a vehicle’s door, but the homeowner yelled at the man who then ran away.

As the man, later identified as Harris, ran behind two houses Deputy Gove said he contacted OCSO Deputy Brian Cross, who is K-9 Magnum’s handler.

The fleeing man, continued the report, jumped over a barbed wire fence and continued running in a northerly direction.

According to the report by Deputy Gove, Harris tried to climb a tree but was apprehended by Magnum.

Some time later, Magnum found Lyons hiding in a pile of bushes behind the home she and Harris had just tried to burglarize, noted Deputy Gove.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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