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On May 28, 2023, Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested 24-year-old Ashlyn Crews of Mulberry for grand theft (F3), accessing an electronic device without permission (F3), stalking/harassing (M1), and two counts of filing a false police report (M1).
Crews is a telecommunicator for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
On May 26th, Cruz contacted detectives to report a man who she said was taking photographs on a cell phone of her daughter while at a UPS store in Mulberry. Additionally, Crews told deputies that she confronted the man and accessed his phone, but did not find any photos of her daughter as she originally reported.
At this point in the investigation deputies do not believe the accused man did anything wrong.
Crews is currently in Polk County Jail where she is being held without bond until her first appearance which is scheduled for tomorrow.
Questions regarding Crews’ employment should be directed to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest affidavit is below:
On May 26, 2023, The suspect, Ashlyn Crews, contacted the Polk County Sheriff's Office and reported that she believed an adult male subject had taken pictures of her and her minor child while they were standing in line at the UPS Store located at the physical address of 2028 Shepherd Road, Mulberry.
Ashlyn made contact with D/S Myers (6673) on the afternoon of May 26, 2023 and reported this incident. During this first interaction with D/S Myers Ashlyn advised that she and her minor child were at the UPS store when she saw an elderly couple enter into the business and while in the business she saw the elderly male subject taking photographs of her daughter.
Ashlyn further that she confronted the male subject and he gave her access to his phone in an attempt to prove to her that he had not taken any photographs of her child. Ashlyn reported to D/S Myers that she saw numerous photographs of children in the subject's phone, but no photographs of her child.
Ashlyn then looked into the recently deleted photo file and reported that she had seen photographs of her child in his deleted file.
On May 26, 2023 at 1926 hours, Ashlyn again contacted the Polk County Sheriff's Office and made contact with D/S Almaraz (8967) and reported the following information:
Ashlyn recounted a majority of the story as told to D/S Myers, however she then told D/S Almaraz that while looking in the deleted photo file she found 6 photographs of her child and 2 photographs of a boy and girl whom were both nude. D/S Almaraz asked Ashlyn why she had not provided this information to D/S Myers during the initial contact and she stated she was not given the chance.
It was then learned that Ashlyn had provided D/S Almaraz a photograph of a residence in which two vehicles were parked in the driveway and it was learned that Ashlyn had obtained the address of the male subject and had driven to their residence and taken a photograph of their residence and vehicles.
After this incident occurred and Ashlyn spoke with two separate Polk County Sheriff's Office Deputies regarding this incident, she then created a Facebook post that provided information related to this incident as well as the names of REDACTED and his wife, REDACTED. These social media posts also referenced in detail REDACTED place of employment, Lakeland Electric. Ashlyn then tagged Lakeland Electric in her post about this incident.
The following is a portion of the Facebook post created by Ashlyn under her Facebook Name of Ashlyn Rowe:
".....As I scrolled through his pictures, I saw pictures of numerous random CHILDREN but none of Novah. I go to the "recently deleted' folder and find the pictures of my child....I saw pictures of my three and a half year old little girl from the waist down. On top of pictures of random children and a handful of NUDE photographs of CHILDREN.
REDACTED wife is the REDACTED at Lakeland Electric, her name is REDACTED...."
"....I have their address but I'm respecting the detectives and Polk CO. Sheriff enough to let them at least start their investigation first before publically blasting their address...."
"....I do plan to notify their neighbors immediately. So everyone sending me their address, Thank you!...."
Attached to this post were photographs of REDACTED and REDACTED as well as the vehicle tag number.
I made contact with REDACTED and completed a sworn recorded interview and she advised the following:
She and REDACTED were inside of the UPS store on Friday afternoon and REDACTED had been playing lighting of his camera on the phone. She advised while in the store, Ashlyn began accusing him of taking photographs of her and her child. She advised they first did not understand what Ashlyn was talking about and in an attempt to calm her down REDACTED did deny taking any photographs and attempted to show Ashlyn his phone.
As they were leaving the store, Ashlyn was waiting in the parking lot for them and as they were walking to their car, Ashlyn approached them and continued to accuse REDACTED of taking photographs of her minor child. Ashlyn was demanding to see REDACTED photographs and in another attempt to calm this situation REDACTED took his phone from his pocket and allowed Ashlyn to look at his photographs.
REDACTED advised there were no photographs in REDACTED phone of Ashlyn or her minor child, but no matter what they said Ashlyn continued to curse at them and call REDACTED names.
On May 27, 2023, REDACTED learned of the Facebook post via other friends as she does not have social media. She contacted her supervisors and learned of the seriousness of these allegations and that people had been contacting Lakeland Electric regarding this matter and at this time she was waiting to learn if she was being suspended from her employment until further notice or if she was going to be terminated.
She advised that after learning of the social media post she and REDACTED had to go talk to their neighbors to check and see if anyone had been coming to their houses talking about this incident.
I made contact with REDACTED and completed a sworn recorded interview. He advised the following:
He and his wife had went to the UPS store on Friday afternoon and while waiting in the store he was playing with the lighting setting on his cell phone's camera when Ashlyn began accusing him of taking photographs of her and her minor child. REDACTED advised he is hard of hearing and wearing hearing aids so he sometimes does not understand everything that is being said. He advised he told Ashlyn he had not taken any photographs and even opened his camera roll while in the store in an attempt to calm the situation, but this did not help.
He advised as he and his wife completed their business and as they were leaving the store, Ashlyn confronted them in the parking lot and began to demand to see the photographs on his phone. REDACTED obliged her, took his phone out, opened his camera roll and allowed Ashlyn to look at his photographs. She then wanted into his deleted files and due to his setting his deleted photo files cannot be accessed with facial recognition or a passcode. Ashlyn turned the phone towards REDACTED so that the facial recognition would open the file. At this time, REDACTED attempted to grab his phone back from Ashlyn, however she refused to give it to him and forcefully held onto the phone making REDACTED grab the phone a second time before Ashlyn released the phone.
I made contact with the witness, REDACTED, and completed a sworn recorded interview.
REDACTED advised she is REDACTED of the UPS store and present when this incident took place. She advised she did see REDACTED playing with his phone and had his camera open, but she did not see him take any photographs of the minor child. She advised she did tell Ashlyn that REDACTED was taking photographs of the child, but this was not accurate as she never actually saw him take a photograph.
She advised as Ashlyn confronted him inside of the store REDACTED did open his photographs and she did not see any photographs of Ashlyn's minor child and there would not have been enough time between him taking an alleged photograph and Ashlyn confronting him for him to delete anything from the phone.
I made contact with the suspect, Ashlyn Crews, and post Miranda she advised the following:
She advised she was inside of the UPS store when an elderly couple walked into behind her. She advised she then saw REDACTED holding his phone up as if taking photographs and believed he was taking photographs of her and her child. The store clerk, REDACTED, confirmed that REDACTED was taking photographs of her minor child.
She confirmed she confronted him inside of the store and then again in the parking lot. She advised REDACTED allowed her to look through his phone and she did not see any photographs of her minor child. She admitted that she at no point saw photographs of any nude children in REDACTED phone and she did not see any of the photographs in the deleted file as she had previous reported.
Ashlyn admitted that she created the Facebook post, drove to REDACTED and REDACTED residence, and took photographs of their residence after speaking with law enforcement. All of these actions were done with ill intent and served no legitimate purpose.
It was determined that Ashlyn violated F.S.S 784.048 Cyberstalking when she engaged in a to communicate, or to cause to be communicated, words, images, or language by or through the use of electronic mail or electronic communication, directed at a specific person, causing substantial emotional distress to that person and serving no legitimate purpose.
It was determined that Ashlyn violated F.S.S 812.014 Grand Theft when she refused to give REDACTED his cellular phone upon demand and attempted to maintain possession of his cellular phone. She forcefully held onto the phone as REDACTED was attempting to take the phone back from her. She knowingly obtained the property of another with intent to, either temporarily or permanently and deprive the other person of a right to the property or a benefit from the property. The phone is valued at $1200 dollars.
It was determined that Ashlyn violated F.S.S 837.05 False reports to law enforcement authorities when she knowingly gave false information to any law enforcement officer concerning the alleged commission of any crime.
It was determined that Ashlyn violated F.S.S 815.06 Offenses against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, and electronic devices. A person commits an offense against users of computers, computer systems, computer networks, or electronic devices if he or she willfully, knowingly, and without authorization or exceeding authorization access the data of the computer or electronic device.