Lakeland man finds burglars sleeping in his house

Jaquel Fleming and Keilow Roundtree, photos from Polk County Sheriff's Office

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Polk County man called deputies Wednesday morning after finding two strangers sleeping in his house. Around 8 a.m. deputies arrived at the home, in the 500 block of Old Highway in Lakeland.

The homeowner had been away for five days. He returned home Wednesday morning to find the front door kicked in. Inside, he found the two suspects asleep in a bedroom.

When deputies arrived, they told the suspects to come out. The men refused, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office. When the K9 team went into the house, the suspects tried climbing out a window “to evade capture,” deputies said.

Deputies then apprehended the two men. The homeowner found three missing window A/C units. “The home had also been vandalized, with still-wet paint on the walls and carpets, causing approximately $3,800 in damage,” deputies said.

The suspects have been identified as Jaquel Fleming, 18, of Lake Alfred, and Keilow Roundtree, 23, of Lakeland. The suspects told deputies they broke into the house to party and smoke weed because Fleming had recently been released from jail, according to the sheriff’s office.

“This is a scary take on the three little bears nursery rhyme. These two recently released felons thought they’d find a comfy bed in someone else’s house, steal their things and throw paint around, in celebration of being out of jail,” Sheriff Grady Judd said. “Well guess what guys? The party’s over.”

Fleming has seven prior Polk County arrests, according to the sheriff’s office. He was arrested by the Lakeland Police Department in April for burglary, grand theft and possession of marijuana. He was just released from the county jail.

Roundtree has been arrested six times before in Polk County, according to the sheriff’s office. He was released from state prison in May after an 18-month robbery sentence.

In this case, both suspects are charged with burglary, grand theft, criminal mischief and resisting arrest. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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