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Mar 8, 2024

Registered sex offender from Brevard County arrested for committing sex crimes in the Winter Haven area

Media Contact: Carrie Horstman, Administrator

On March 6, 2024, Robert Miranda of Titusville, DOB 3/6/1982, was booked into the Polk County Jail on his 42nd birthday for multiple felonies related to his lewd and lascivious behavior during the end of February in the Winter Haven area. Miranda is a registered sex offender in the state of Florida. The investigation was conducted by the Winter Haven Police Department, and the PCSO, due to the incidents being reported within the city and in unincorporated areas of the county.

Click here to see the full news conference.

During the last week of February 2024, the Winter Haven Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office received reports of a suspicious man driving a grey mid-sized SUV in the Winter Haven area, approaching children who were walking to their bus stops in the morning. At 7:20 a.m. on February, 23rd, a 9-year-old child reported that while she was walking to her school bus stop on Avenue H and 15th St NE, the man, wearing a black surgical style mask, pulled up and asked her if she was missing a dog, and said he had one in his vehicle. Recognizing that he was trying to get her in the car, she ran to an adult and reported it. The man drove away, and the child noticed that the vehicle did not have a tag on it.

Twenty minutes later, at 7:40 a.m., a 12-year-old child reported a male matching the same description approached him while he (the child) was walking to his school bus stop at Avenue J and 4th St SE. The driver opened his door and masturbated in front of the boy. The boy took out his phone and attempted to take a photo, at which point the driver immediately drove in reverse and fled. He told officers that the man was wearing a black surgical style mask.

The description of the driver and vehicle given by both kids matched – they described a skinny white or Hispanic male in his 20s or 30s with short brown or black hair wearing a black medical style mask over his mouth and nose, driving a grey midsized SUV.

Video surveillance collected from businesses in the area showed the following between 7:50 and 8:00 a.m. that day:

  • A grey Mitsubishi Outlander driving backwards into a parking lot of a business on Avenue K SE; The driver backed into a parking space and after a short amount of time, he got out and walked to the rear of the SUV. He was wearing a black shirt and black pants. This matches the statement given by the 12-year-old child of the suspect fleeing in reverse.
  • The Mitsubishi Outlander traveling towards 3rd Street
  • The Mitsubishi Outlander passing a school bus on 3rd Street

Winter Haven investigators obtained additional video from 3rd Street which showed the license plate of the SUV. They ran the tag, and found it was registered to Christina Miranda of Haines City.

Click here to see the videos.

During the investigation, another incident was found to have occurred on February 16, 2024, where two women were approached by the same suspect in the same vehicle on Avenue A SW. He opened the driver’s door and masturbated in front of them. When the victims yelled at the driver, he left. Video surveillance from the area captured the incident. The victims reported he was wearing a black surgical style mask, and that the vehicle did not have a tag.

Detectives responded to Christina Miranda’s home in Haines City, and learned that her adult son Robert has been living in Lake Alfred and driving the Outlander. She told detectives that she purchased it for him to drive, and he is insured; she provided the insurance documents.

Miranda has been a registered sex offender since 2005 due to a conviction in Brevard County for lewd and lascivious battery on a victim between 12-15 years old. He has registered two vehicles with the state per the FDLE requirements – a red Suzuki motorcycle and a red Alfa Romero, and his Titusville address.

PCSO Special Victims Response Team Detectives obtained a warrant for his arrest for the failure to register offenses related to his temporary Polk County address and possession of the Outlander. He was taken into custody in Titusville by the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office. PCSO Special Victims Unit detectives obtained a search warrant for his residence and the Outlander, and seized the following: his cell phone, several articles of clothing, and three black masks. They then obtained an additional warrant charging him with sex crimes.

The real heroes of this investigation are the very brave children who immediately thwarted this pervert’s efforts to corrupt, assault, kidnap or molest them, and who gave law enforcement officers excellent descriptions of the suspect and the vehicle he was in. Secondly, I would like to commend my deputies and detectives for relentlessly pursuing and following up on every lead from here to Brevard County, resulting in the swift apprehension of a registered sex offender who clearly is on a mission to continue to assault and abuse children.”Grady Judd, Sheriff

“The joint investigation conducted between PCSO and Winter Haven clearly shows the outstanding dedication to get this offender off the street and put where he belongs. From the very beginning, our agencies left no stone unturned to come to this successful outcome,” – Winter Haven Deputy Police Chief Vance Monroe

On March 6, 2024, Miranda was transferred to the Polk County Jail. He is charged with:

  • Three counts sex offender failure to register (F3)for failing to report his temporary residence in Lake Alfred to the PCSO; for failing to report the Lake Alfred residence to the DHSMV; and for failing to report the Mitsubishi Outlander as a vehicle he owns and drives.
  • One count attempted kidnapping (F1)*for attempting to kidnap a child under 13 by attempting to get her into his vehicle on February 23, 2024.
  • One count lewd and lascivious exhibition by a person over 18 (F1)*for masturbating in front of a child under the age of 16 on February 23, 2024.
  • One count indecent exposure (F3)*for exposing himself to two women on February 16, 2024.

*these charges were all enhanced due to the suspect wearing a mask during the commission of the crimes

Robert Miranda has an extensive criminal history:

  • February 1997 – Orange County Sheriff’s Office – Arson (guilty)
  • January 2000 – West Melbourne PD – Sex offense against a child (adjudication withheld)
  • February 2001 and July 2002 – Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – VOP
  • September 2008 – Brevard County Sheriff’s Office – Sex offender failure to register
  • May 2009 – Brevard Co – 3 counts VOP
  • May 2019 – PCSO – Possession of cocaine; possession of paraphernalia; solicitation of a prostitute
  • March 2023 – Haines City PD – Possession of cocaine; possession of paraphernalia; carrying a concealed weapon; possession of a weapon or ammo by convicted felon
  • July 2023 – Brevard Co – Possession of paraphernalia (crack pipe); naked female found in vehicle with him
  • September 2023 – PCSO – 3 counts VOP
  • October 2023 – PCSO – Introduction of contraband into detention facility
  • November 2023 – Brevard Co – Possession of crack cocaine and Xanax
  • February 2024 – Brevard Co – Unattached tag (deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle call regarding a male wearing a hoodie and shades in the area – he told them he was waiting for his girlfriend)

“These cannot be the only instances where Miranda has solicited or exposed himself—we encourage anyone who has seen this guy and/or car connected with anything illegal to please contact us. We need to make sure this guy spends years in prison to separate him from innocent children.”  -Grady Judd, Sheriff