Last Updated: 3:57 p.m.
A call came into the Flagler County Sheriff’s 911 center at 7:53 this morning reporting two black men in a backyard, knocking on doors. The call triggered a response by the sheriff’s office that included ground units, a K-9 unit, and Flagler County Fire Flight, the emergency helicopter.
The activity was focused on the area near Burning Tree, near Belle Terre Parkway.
By 11 a.m., two teens were in custody, including a Willie Rollins, a 16-year-old Matanzas High School student who had been arrested in Palm Coast just days ago after admitting to burglarizing 20 vehicles in the same B Section, when he told deputies that he wanted to turn his life around. Juveniles’ names are not normally named for such arrests, but Rollins is being named because of his confession and pledge to deputies less than two weeks ago.
“In summation,” detective Joe Costello wrote in Rollins’s arrest report on September 17, “Rollins said he was tired of running and wanted to admit to the crimes committed so he could start on the road to getting an education and his goal of playing football.” He even asked a deputy to contact law enforcement in St. Johns County so he could confess to crimes committed there, “taking sole responsibility for his actions and not wanting others not involved to be held accountable.” The dean of students at Matanzas said “he would contact each of his student’s teachers, hopeful that Willie would continue getting an education and being a positive influence in the community and Matanzas High School going forward.” The deputy and the dean explained to Rollins “that it would not be an easy road ahead but that we along with deputies Landi and Champion would would be supportive of his future.”
Today, Rollins was re-arrested along with his 18-year-old cousin, Leo Rollins. Leo was charged with grand theft auto, residential burglary, burglary of a conveyance (that is, larceny of a car), resisting arrest without violence, and principal to a burglary. Willie was charged similarly and both may fac e additional charges.
The morning’s events led to a car break on Burning Bush Lane and a stolen vehicle reported out of St. Johns County that deputies found at 7:45 a.m.. Inside the vehicle, deputies found a laptop that had been stolen in the car break on Burning Bush, authorities said.
When the search was ongoing this morning, the sheriff’s office was asking residents to stay indoors. “They’re looking for them right now, it’s a safety protection right now for people to stay inside,” a spokesperson said at the time, noting that since deputies are working the neighborhood, they would rather have no interference from residents wanting to chat it up–either with the deputies or with the unknown males. The search had caused significant concern among residents about the nature of the incident.
“We do have other calls, we don’t know if they’re related or not,” the spokesperson said this morning. “We are working all of it at the same time.”
The older Rollins will be booked at the Flagler County Jail. Willie Rollins will be turned over to the juvenile justice system, either for detention at the system’s facility in Daytona Beach or to be returned to his parents.
The sheriff’s office is asking residents to call 386/313-4911 to report information on the case.
Note: the earlier headline on this story, originally posted at 10:31 a.m., had been: “Suspicious Activity in Palm Coast’s B Section Launches Search and Air Surveillance.”
They were probably just cutting a lawn, I swear people are calling the cops for nothing these days. Two black men must be really scary for some people smh.
“two black men in a backyard, knocking on doors.”, what does this even mean? How many doors are in this backyard? Has someone contacted Josh Davis to get a gag order filed?
Stay inside ? …. what is this martial law. Stay imprisoned in my own home till told otherwise by the authority.
NOT……. WTF !
Think I’ll grab my registered firearm and go sit out back in the lawn chair :) Maybe I’ll stand my ground today.
If they are knocking on doors, then that’s plural meaning they are knocking on more than 1 door. Doubt they are mowing lawns if there’s no equipment
Of course the first comment turns this into a racial thing. Sorry, two men walking through BACK yards and knocking, assumigy on BACK doors is not typical behavior for the local lawn guys, whatever color they may be. It is helpful to report the race of suspects; if they are black, then that eliminates roughly 85% of the rest of the male population, allowing police to focus on actual potential suspects. Does that make sense?
Better safe than sorry otherwisr the coroner starts picking up bodies
2 in custody Dave. I guess knocking on backdoors and cutting lawn are in fact 2 different acts…..
Mary Fusco says
Well Dave, if they were cutting a lawn, lawn equipment would be visible would it not? 20 years ago, if I saw 2 people in my backyard, I would simply ask them “what’s going on?. Sadly, we don’t live in that kind of world anymore. There is absolutely no need for anyone to be running through back yards any time of the day or night. Why bring race into it? This is the description the homeowner gave to the police of the 2 men. If they were hispanic, that would have been the description. If they were white or purple with yellow dots, that would have been the description. SMH.
It could be a false alarm, but let’s not be naive. Blacks do crime, Whites do crime, etc. It’s just the description of the suspects. Also, mowing lawns at 7AM in a residential area SHOULD be a crime :)
RP, no you are not forced to stay inside. But if you are walking around outside you are a hindrance to the search. It is a common problem when fireflight is over head searching for someone everybody comes out side to look at the helicopter. now instead of looking for one person among many houses we now are looking for one person among hundreds of people. Its frustrating.
Josh Davis for Sheriff!!!!!!
Born and Raised Here says
This time the Parents should be held accountable for the stolen property, and arrested for the actions of their child.
Donnie riddle says
I guess their mowing grass with laptops now !
None Special says
So when is the city council going to change the name of Palm Coast to Berchtesgaden! Really starting to feel like it.
Looks like he wasn’t quite ready to turn his life around.
Damn that’s crazy I go to school with willie free my broda man😔😔