Teen jailed in $15,000 jewel theft

Florida Today/August 3, 2001
By J.D. Gallop

Palm Bay, Fla. - A teen who had been living at a white supremacy camp returned home Thursday, on his birthday, then was arrested after $15,000 in jewelry was stolen from the dwelling.

Police believe 17-year-old Caurey Lautkin was going to pawn the items to get cash for an Aryan Front operation in Osceola County. Civil rights observers say that such groups, which teach white power or other forms of separatism and racial supremacy, have several loosely organized groups in Florida.

Lautkin, who police said had run away from his 73-year-old grandmother's home several months ago to live at the camp, was charged with grand theft and corruption by threat against a police officer after a brief foot chase near Emerson Drive, officials said.

Investigators said Lautkin's body was covered with tattoos of swastikas and other designs associated with supremacist organizations. "This kid has caused us some problem in the area before and we had several outstanding warrants on him already," said Lt. Richard Adams, spokesman for the Palm Bay Police Department.

Police got a call to the grandmother's home at 3:50 p.m. Thursday. According to officers, Lautkin had returned to the home and asked his grandmother if he could take a bath, said Cpl. Mark Foskey of the Palm Bay Police Department.

"It was his birthday, and his grandmother started cooking him some food," Foskey said. "Later she found him standing in her master bedroom like a kid caught in the cookie jar. He left immediately," said Foskey.

One of the items stolen out of the home was a $9,000 ring, Foskey said. Some of the jewelry had been in the family for more than 40 years. Within minutes, Lautkin's father called police and officers also were given intelligence that Lautkin may have had access to an AK-47 or other assault weapons.

Officers eventually spotted Lautkin, wearing jeans, military boots and a flannel shirt with a close-cropped haircut, near Lopez Groceries on Emerson Drive.

Lautkin, who was unarmed, was captured after Foskey warned that he would use a Taser, a weapon that uses electricity to subdue suspects, to take him down, officials said.

"He confessed to everything," said Foskey, adding that Lautkin also threatened to kill him during interrogation at the police department. "He said, 'I'll see you again.' "

Lautkin also was expected to face three unrelated warrants for his arrest on burglary and failure to appear charges. He was taken to the Brevard County Detention Center in Sharpes.

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