NORTH PORT, Fla. (WWSB) - Prosecutors have dropped burglary charges against two Suncoast men after investigators proved they were not the suspects.
Now the North Port Police Department is looking into how they made these wrong arrests.
The burglary happened at a North Port Lowe’s last June, when $400 worth of roof coating was stolen on the 14th. Surveillance cameras caught the two robbers in the act, leaving this evidence for police to work with.
After police said they gathered evidence for months, they named two men as suspects in February 2019 and by April 2019 they were charged.
They believed this was Cody Corbett and this man was Gregory Lowe, but they were wrong.
“It shows that sometimes there’s sloppy police work, and they want to try and solve their case as quickly as possible,” Jeffrey Morris, the lawyer on the case.
On the day this theft happened, Cody Corbett was sitting in a Polk County Jail cell. As his attorney pointed out, the suspect in the video who police say is really Gregory Lowe has no tattoos, but Lowe has sleeve tattoos.
Charges against both men were dropped this week. Lawyers say they’re hoping this case serves as a wake up call for police to not be too quick to choose suspects even if they have an extensive criminal history.
“Probable cause requires an investigation, and it requires a thorough investigation," Morris said. "I think if this investigation was done thoroughly, and not negligently, they would’ve determined that there was no probable cause.”
The North Port Police Department released this statement, saying, “We’re conducting a full investigation into the matter. We will also be reviewing our policies and procedures. We do not take these types of situations lightly.”
In the meantime, those two robbers are still on the loose. So if you recognize the men in those photos, you’re asked to call the North Port Police Department.