Brothers accused of setting car on fire

OKEECHOBEE — Two Okeechobee juveniles were arrested Saturday evening for their alleged involvement in the theft of a motor vehicle and it being set on fire.

Caleb Colby Reynolds, 15, and Phillip Kyle Reynolds, 16, of Northeast First Street, were arrested March 24 on felony charges of grand theft auto and arson.

According to an arrest report by Deputy Jonathon Gove, of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), on March 24 he responded to the 400 block of Northeast 64th Avenue in regard to a suspicious incident.

Caleb Colby Reynolds, 15

Upon his arrival, Deputy Gove reportedly made contact with a witness who reportedly saw Caleb Reynolds and some other individuals approach a red car that had been parked on the side of Northeast 64th Avenue. The witness stated Caleb pulled the door handle, opening it, and entered the car where he then began to rummage through compartments. One of the other individuals reportedly took something from the vehicle, the witness stated.

The witness reported that Caleb found keys left in the vehicle, started the vehicle and left heading east on Northwest First Street with one other individual with him.

Deputy Gove continued to search the area for Caleb and the red car when he was informed by dispatch that a red vehicle was reported on fire in the 7500 block of State Road 70, approximately a half mile away.

Phillip Kyle Reynolds, 16

Deputy Gove was then reportedly stopped at the intersection of Northeast 70th Avenue and Northeast First Street by two juveniles who identified themselves and signed witness affidavits. The juveniles reportedly told Deputy Gove that they had been approached by Caleb and his brother Phillip in the 200 block of Northeast 70th Avenue, where apparently Caleb laughingly said, “You see that smoke, I set that [expletive deleted] on fire.” Caleb and Phillip then reportedly ran down Northeast 70th Avenue. The witnesses provided deputies with a description of Caleb and Phillip’s attire.

According to a report by Okeechobee County Fire Rescue (OCFR), at approximately 4:18 p.m. on March 24, a call was received for a vehicle fire in the 7500 block of State Road 70 East. While en route, dispatch reportedly informed them the vehicle was in the middle of a pasture approximately half a mile off the road. Subsequently units requested a brush truck and tanker respond to the scene.

As OCFR units were arriving on scene, two young males were reportedly seen leaving the area. A description was provided to OCSO who was on scene and informed OCFR that the vehicle was fully engulfed in flames. OCFR was able to reach the car and also located a small brush fire that had started.

Due to the condition of the pasture, units were unable to take the fire engine to the burning vehicle and instead had to access the vehicle on foot. The brush fire was put out with hand tools and fire extinguishers. The vehicle fire was extinguished by a 1” hand line that used approximately 400 gallons of water and foam. The vehicle was a property loss of $2,000 and the scene was cleared at approximately 6:45 p.m.

Deputy Gove reported that he then drove west on State Road 70 and turned left onto Northeast 60th Avenue, where he saw a white Chrysler SUV occupied by a female driver and two juveniles who matched the descriptions given of the two boys. Deputy Gove made contact with Caleb and Phillip Reynolds and their guardian. Caleb and Phillip were then read their Miranda Warning in the presence of the guardian.

Detective Corporal Max Waldron arrived on scene and informed Deputy Gove the two boys matched the description of the subjects walking away from the vehicle seen by OCFR.

Cpl. Waldron was able to make contact with the vehicle’s owner. The owner said he drove the vehicle to a friend’s house in the 300 block of Northeast 64th Avenue and parked it near the road at approximately 3 p.m. The owner stated he left the keys in the car. The owner then said they drove the friend’s vehicle into town. Upon returning, he noticed his car was gone. The owner was not aware the vehicle had been set on fire and wanted to press charges.

Caleb and Phillip were arrested, transported and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail on the aforementioned charges and then transported to St. Lucie Regional Detention Center in Fort Pierce. Photographs were taken of Phillip’s arms, a footprint near the fire and the burned vehicle.

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