By Brian McBride


A Bartow man who authorities said committed 20 robberies spanning from Bradenton to Orange County was arrested in Kissimmee on April 10 where he was planning yet another crime.

Polk County Sheriff’s Office robbery detectives, who were working with the Lakeland Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Osceola County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF), arrested Terell Covington, 32.

Covington was wanted for robberies in Kissimmee, Orange County, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Plant City, Hillsborough County and Bradenton.

Polk county deputies obtained an arrest warrant for Covington, charging him with three robberies, two of which were armed.

“Thanks to the great teamwork with our Central Florida partnering agencies, his robbing days are over,” said Polk Sheriff Grady Judd.

According to a Sheriff’s Office report, on April 10, while awaiting approval for an arrest warrant, Polk detectives went to Covington’s Bartow home, and watched him leaving in a truck. They followed the truck, which stopped at a Home Depot in Lakeland. Covington got out of the truck, and into the passenger side of a Nissan Altima, which then drove to Kissimmee, and circled a Dollar General store, the report stated. The driver of the Altima, 27-year-old Joshua Patterson, of Lakeland, then headed to a Dollar Tree store in Kissimmee. That’s when Polk deputies requested assistance from the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office. Osceola deputies responded and made contact with Patterson and Covington.

Covington was taken to a Polk Sheriff’s Office substation for an interview where he confessed to committing 18 robberies in the Tampa Bay area.

Covington said that Patterson was the “getaway driver” during three of the robberies, and that on April 10, they were planning to commit another one before being stopped by law enforcement, the report stated.

Polk deputies placed Patterson under arrest for conspiracy to commit an armed robbery and booked him into the Polk County Jail.

The Polk County charges for Covington were two counts of armed robbery, burglary with battery, robbery with a mask, two counts of armed burglary with battery and two counts of false imprisonment,

He was being in the Polk jail held on no bond.

More charges are pending from the other agencies.