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Deputies: Burglar caught trying to swim away

Bradford County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Shawn Eric Murray
Bradford County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Shawn Eric Murray

HAMPTON, Fla. – A burglary suspect who attempted to swim away in a Hampton Lake was tracked down and caught by civilians and deputies on Wednesday, according to the Bradford County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said about 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, the sheriff's office responded to a report of an armed burglary in progress on SW County Road 18 in Hampton.

Bradford County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Shawn Eric Murray
Bradford County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Shawn Eric Murray

When deputies arrived, a man, later identified as 37-year-old Shawn Eric Murray (pictured), was seen in the backyard of the home, which is located on Hampton Lake. The deputies ordered Murray to stop, but he dove into the lake and started swimming away.

Numerous other deputies were called to assist, including one who lived nearby and had access to a boat. After searching around several docks for nearly an hour, the deputies regrouped at an unoccupied residence that is believed to be where Murray has been living.

While searching that residence, a neighbor said Murray had been sighted under another dock.

Deputies quickly secured the area and Murray was spotted swimming approximately 300 feet off shore in about 7 feet of water, deputies said.

Bradford County Sheriff's Office K9 officers search for a burglary suspect who swam into Hampton Lake.
Bradford County Sheriff's Office K9 officers search for a burglary suspect who swam into Hampton Lake.

By that time, two other civilian boats were in the area assisting and four deputies were in the water, as well. Murray had to be physically restrained because he refused to surrender, deputies said.

Murray has been charged with armed burglary, grand theft and four counts of resisting with violence. He was taken to the Bradford County Jail and will be brought before a judge Thursday morning for his bond to be set.