Three Fla. Men Nabbed in 'Deputy Down' Prank

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. --

Lake County deputies have arrested three men who they say stole a deputy's radio and used it to call dispatch and report a deputy down.

"Shots fired. Officer down. Officer down. I repeat, shots fired. Officer down," the caller told the dispatcher on Monday morning.

The Lake County Sheriff's Office said it didn't take long for dispatchers to figure out that the calls were a prank and issue their own warning.

"Lake County Sheriff's Office to the gentleman who stole our portable that's talking on the radio. Be advised that you are in violation of state statute," the dispatcher said. "Let's see if we can ping that radio and get a GPS location."

Deputies arrested Keith Burdeshaw, 19, Corey Cox, 21, and Dallace Hatley, 19, on Tuesday. Deputies said the men stole the radio from a Lake County detention deputy's unlocked personal vehicle.

Deputies used a bloodhound to find a beef jerky package that led them to a CVS pharmacy that surveillance footage showed the three had previously visited.

Deputies said they identified the suspects and all three admitted to their involvement during an interview and the radio was recovered.

Burdeshaw was charged with two counts of burglary, two counts of grand theft and unlawful transmission on a police or fire frequency. He is being held on $20,500 bond.

Cox was charged with burglary, grand theft, principal to burglary, principal to grand theft, retail theft and violation of probation. Deputies said Cox admitted to stealing beef jerky from the CVS. Cox is being held on no bond because he is on probation for a 2010 drug arrest.

Hatley was charged with burglary, grand theft and unlawful transmission on a police or fire frequency. He is being held on no bond because he is on probation for an animal cruelty charge in January and a drug charge in February.

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