POLK CITY, Fla. -- Sheriff Grady Judd and the Polk County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's assistance in finding the suspect or suspects involved in the homicide of a 68-year-old man in Polk City.
According to the sheriff's office, good Samaritans found a 57-year-old victim with obvious injuries outside of a home in the 7000 block of Berkley Rd. around 1:45 p.m. Wednesday.
The victim told them he had been robbed and that someone else was hurt inside the home, Judd said.
68-year-old William Reiss was discovered dead at the scene.
Sheriff Grady Judd held a press conference to discuss updates:
Detectives also discovered that there is a vehicle missing from the scene believed to be stolen from Reiss, along with 31 guns. The vehicle is a 2-door 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 with a handicapped Florida license plate tag # Z2SKD.
Pls RT: Polk City Homicide suspect fled in this blue 2008 Dodge Ram 1500 truck w/a FL handicapped tag Z2SKD, wooden fence rails (like siding) on the back & shiny rims. Call @heartlandcs 1-800-226-TIPS (8477) pic.twitter.com/15FMCE9WNT— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) January 3, 2018
Reiss was a gun collector and long guns and pistols which could be easily identified were among some of the stolen firearms.
"These guns aren't going to be purchased by Sunday School teachers", Judd said, warning they'll end up on the street. "They knew to go to that house to rob him of many firearms, and were willing to kill two people to get the guns."
Judd said of the suspects, "They are very dangerous, we need to lock these suspects up very quickly."
Twenty minutes before deputies responded to the scene, an unknown black Chevrolet Sedan was captured on local video surveillance cameras traveling southbound on Berkley Rd. and Commonwealth Ave. N.
Deputies continue to search for the stolen 2008 blue Dodge Ram along with attempting to identify the driver or owner of the black Chevrolet Sedan (possibly a Sonic LT, according to the authorities).
Sheriff Judd believes the 57-year-old and Reiss were "buddies" and roommates for ten years.
The 57-year-old remains in critical, but stable condition at a local hospital.
Sheriff Judd ends with the following statement on the case:
"We have an unknown amount of suspects on the loose with up to 31 stolen firearms. They are dangerous and capable of murder. Crime Stoppers is offering a $3,000 reward for information about these suspects. We need to find them before they hurt anyone else."
-Grady Judd, Sheriff
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