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One Florida sheriff spoke out on his tough-on-crime stance after learning a burglary suspect allegedly bragged he would be let out of jail quickly because he thought he had been arrested in a different county. 

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said his crime platform has sent criminals a “clear” message that their antics won’t be tolerated under his jurisdiction during “Fox & Friends First.”

“I think the message is clear. If you’re tough on crime, the criminals know it and they go… somewhere else,” Judd told Carley Shimkus on Friday. “In fact, they had committed that night, we suspect, 30 burglaries of vehicles in Pasco County and 30 or 35 in the city of Tampa. Those are under investigation. More charges are coming, but it’s clear that he told us the truth.”

“The truth is, if you’re tough on crime, criminals don’t commit crime, or at least in your area, and that’s the way it needs to be all across this nation,” he continued. “And the people like it. They like bad guys to go to jail. They don’t want bad guys stealing their stuff.”

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24-year-old Tamari Lucas, who allegedly stole a Dodge Ram this week, is charged with grand theft motor vehicle, not having a valid driver’s license, two counts of criminal mischief and fleeing to elude law enforcement. He has a lengthy criminal history that includes 30 previous felony charges, 12 previous misdemeanor charges and 19 re-arrest charges, the sheriff’s office said.

“He’s good for three to five years on just this car,” Judd said. “But understand, Pasco County, which is a neighboring county, is preparing to drop up to 30 more burglary charges on him, and we understand in some of those burglaries, there were guns stolen. So he could end up with 10, 15 years or more.”

“Right now, if you want to see Tamari, he’s in the county jail lockup,” he continued. “Who knows? He may be humming, you know, jingle bells, criminals in jail. I don’t know, but he’s not out walking the street, and that’s what he thought he would be today.”

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Lucas originally thought he would be let out of jail quickly following the reported crime – until he learned he was under Judd’s jurisdiction.

“Oh, my God! Not Grady Judd! Are you [expletive] serious? This really sucks because you guys don’t play around in Polk County,” he reportedly said. 

Some of Lucas’ previous charges include aggravated assault with a weapon, multiple counts of grand theft auto, dealing in stolen property and aggravated battery, among others. He has eight felony convictions. 

“If you look across this nation at the metro centers, you can blame your crime rate and the fact that you’re victimized on your elected officials,” Judd said. “Look at your governor, your House members, your Senate members, your mayor, your city commissioners, your county commissioners. If you’re not safe, and you don’t feel safe, it’s the rule makers.”

“Our job is to enforce the rules, so if the rule makers say, let them go, let them go, they do that,” he continued. “And I can’t understand for the life of me why they think it’s better to let criminals loose, to victimize the good people of the community, but look around the nation. They do it every day, but not in Polk County.”

Judd, who was first was elected sheriff in 2004, said the county’s crime has plummeted because of his tough approach – a sharp contrast with other major cities nationwide grappling with a surge in violence. 

“Our crime rate is at a 51-year low right now, and over the next three weeks, if we can keep it like it is now, we’re 98 crimes less than we were last year at this time,” Judd said. “In January, we predict we’re going to be at a 52-year low, and it’s all about holding people accountable that commit crime.”

Fox News’ Louis Casiano contributed to this report. 

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