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GCSO nabs duo accused of five-county crime spree

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The couple had been dubbed “Bonnie and Clyde” by law enforcement authorities but what 35-year-old William Larry Easterwood Jr. and Elizabeth Lauren Watts, 30, are suspected of doing is not a movie. However, one alleged caper committed in Havana on May 8 was caught on camera. 

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“We don’t know what all they’ve stolen between Gadsden, Liberty, Suwanee, Leon, Jackson (counties), and Decatur (Georgia). They have been on a five-county crime spree,” Capt. Jim Corder said Friday afternoon as he, along with Investigator Kevin Godwin and Investigator Robbie Maxwell sifted through an impounded SUV the pair is accused of using to commit robberies and burglaries. 

Corder said arrests came after GCSO received a tip that Easterwood, who was released from prison eight months ago, was hiding out at a relative’s house in Mt. Pleasant. Deputies arrived around 9 a.m. and saw Watts, who is between 8 and 9 months pregnant, standing in the yard. She was arrested without incident.

“They told us that Easterwood saw us coming and took off running in the woods. The deputies called in the K-9 but they could never get a scent. So, we started from the beginning and found him hiding in a corner under the house. The relatives were afraid of him and said Easterwood and Watts had been shooting (intravenous) methamphetamine all night. Both of them are badly addicted to illegal prescription drugs,” he said.

Both were charged with one count of possession of a fire arm by a convicted felon, one count grand theft less than $5,000, two counts grand theft of a fire arm, one count of possession of burglary tools and one count of burglary of a dwelling. Both are currently in the Gadsden County Jail with no bond. Because of Watts’ medical condition, a judge could decide to release her until she delivers the baby, according to Corder.

According to a report released by the GCSO, a homeowner reported he was missing two handguns and $440 in cash from his residence. He also found that the back door of the residence, which is rarely used, had been pried open at some point, although the door was closed.

Te alleged victim had a surveillance system with a camera focused on the back door. The video shows that on May 8, a female wearing a sweatshirt approached the back door and began knocking on the door and looking into the residence through a window in the door. She continued knocking and slid the sleeve of her sweatshirt over her hand and twisted the doorknob to see if it would open, the report stated.

According to the written narrative in the report, a few minutes later a white man came into the camera’s view approaching the back door and 7 minutes later he pried the door open, using two screwdrivers, and gained entry.

“They had a system; she would go up and knock on the door and if no one was there she went back and got him. They knew specifically what they were after. In the SUV, we found additional pieces of property like silver coins that were obviously collector’s coins because they were still in the sleeves, old stamps and one flat-screen TV,” Corder said.

He said the couple went to two specific pawn shops in Tallahassee to sell the stolen items. They were not legitimate pawn shops and they were hardly giving them anything because they knew they were addicted.

“There are going to be numerous other charges filed. This is ongoing because we’re going to have to track down the owners and have them identify the items, some of which were special gems of a special cut that the owners can easily identify,” he said.

If you have information about these or other burglaries, call Corder at the GCSO, 850-627-9233.