In a bizarre attempt to mislead the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, Johnny Yates, a wanted Florida man, left an unconventional clue outside a Lakeland home: a whiteboard proclaiming, “Johnny Yates does NOT live here!” But the officers weren’t easily duped.
Highlighting the incident on Facebook, the sheriff’s office humorously pondered the credibility of a dry-erase board. Their doubts were validated when someone departing the house indicated Yates was inside.
Despite loudspeaker demands, there was no response from the house’s occupants. Growing impatient, deputies released “Surrender Smoke,” prompting four individuals to exit. Yet, Yates, wanted for a series of charges including aggravated battery and false imprisonment, continued to elude them.
Persistence paid off for the deputies. After deploying more smoke and sending in a K-9, they discovered Yates cleverly hidden in an adapted chest of drawers. He was promptly arrested and taken to jail. The four other housemates, who had resisted earlier, were charged and facetiously offered “an all-expense paid trip to Grady Judd’s Bed & Breakfast,” as per the sheriff’s office’s post.