Florida suspect brags about bail until informed about tough-on-crime sheriff; ‘Oh, my God! Not Grady Judd!’

One of two Florida burglary grand theft suspects with a long criminal history bragged that he would be out of jail shortly after his arrest before he realized he was taken into custody in a county where the law is enforced by a no-nonsense sheriff with a tough-on-crime platform. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his deputies spotted a stolen Dodger Ram just after 1 a.m. Wednesday. The driver, identified as Tamari Lucas, 24, a Tampa resident, and a passenger eventually stopped the truck and fled on foot, authorities said. 

Lucas was arrested but the passenger was not found, Judd said. Upon his arrest, Lucas allegedly told the deputies that he wouldn’t be in jail for long because he was arrested in Osceola County. He was then informed that he was in fact taken into custody in Polk County.

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“Oh, my God! Not Grady Judd! Are you (expletive) serious? This really sucks because you guys don’t play around in Polk County,” he allegedly stated. 

“Well the reality is, we want all burglars to understand that nobody plays,” Judd told reporters during a press conference. 

Judd has a reputation for being a no-nonsense sheriff who never minces words and is frequently seen at news conferences condemning criminals. His blunt approach has won over his law enforcement colleagues and residents.

Judd was elected sheriff in 2004 and began his fifth term in 2021. 

Lucas is charged with grand theft motor vehicle, not having a valid driver’s license, two counts of criminal mischief and fleeing to elude law enforcement. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes 30 previous felony charges, 12 previous misdemeanor charges, and 19 re-arrest charges, the sheriff’s office said. 

Some of Lucas’ previous charges include aggravated assault with a weapon, multiple counts of grand theft auto, dealing in stolen property and aggravated battery, among others. He has eight felony convictions. 

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Shortly before Lucas’ arrest, deputies took into custody 14-year-old Jeremiah Hamm on suspicion of grand theft auto. The deputies were following a stolen 2000 Nissan pickup truck on Interstate 4 and boxed in Hamm with help from the Florida Highway Patrol. 

“What am I getting charged with, grand theft auto?” Hamm asked when he was taken into custody, Judd said. 

He told deputies that he had a court appointment the following day for a previous grand theft arrest and was worried that he would miss it, authorities said. 

Hamm, at 14, has previous arrests for robbery with a firearm, armed burglary, grand theft, aggravated assault with a weapon, resisting arrest, drug possession and trespassing, authorities said.

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“These two thieves are running rampant and they obviously don’t take our criminal justice system seriously,” Judd said. “Why is this 14-year-old out at 1:00 in the morning stealing cars and committing burglaries? Where are the adults in his life? We will absolutely hold these two accountable; we are just not going to tolerate this nonsense.”

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