Adam Lindner | Sports Editor
A Duquesne football recruit was arrested on several charges on Monday, April 16, in his hometown of Lake Worth, Florida, including one count of armed burglary and three counts of grand theft of a firearm, among others.
Jake Collins, an 18-year-old, signed to join Duquesne as a member of Head Coach Jerry Schmitt’s 21-man 2018 recruiting class. He is accused of stealing a gun and jewelry from the residential Lake Worth home of a Palm Beach County sheriff’s officer, according to a police report.
Investigators say that they recovered the officer’s firearm, along with two others, from a closet in Collins’ home on April 16. However, Collins pawned some of the jewelry to shops in the surrounding area, the report said.
According to The Palm Beach Post, Collins appeared in court on Tuesday morning, where a judge set his bond at $32,000 on the charges that he faces, which also include grand theft, false verification of ownership and dealing in stolen property, along with the aforementioned charges.
In a statement obtained by The Duke from the Duquesne athletic department, Coach Schmitt commented on Collins’ status with the school: “We just learned of the situation involving Jake Collins. We are currently working to get detailed information. Once we have gathered the necessary factual information, we will make a decision regarding his status.”
Collins was reached by phone on Wednesday afternoon, but declined to comment on the situation.
A 6-foot-1, 195-pound defensive back, Collins was a 3-star recruit that helped his Park Vista Community High School Cobras to a 10-4 record in Florida Class 8-A play as a senior in 2017. Originally committed to FBS member South Florida, Collins decided on Duquesne on Jan. 30 over offers from Appalachian State and Southern Mississippi, among others.
According to the police report, the owners of the house, Christopher and Ruth Soares, left their home on Friday, April 13, for a weekend vacation, leaving daughters Victoria (23) and Hannah (15) at home.
The report said that Collins broke into the home on Friday via a garage window that he manually removed. After later leaving the home, Collins entered a waiting car and rode away.
The theft was reported on Monday afternoon after the victims returned home and noticed an ajar garage window.
Later that night, Collins was arrested at his nearby home after he was identified as the suspect. A search warrant on the basis of probable cause was granted and executed in the process.
Collins confessed to taking three firearms from the home, including a glock with the PBSO logo on it. He told officers that two of the guns that he took from the home were in a closet in his room, along with “an additional firearm which he purchased from an unknown associate off the street.” Investigators were able to locate the three guns, but Collins had already sold a semiautomatic pistol taken in the burglary “to an associate for $100 cash,” the police report said.
Collins also pawned a $1,500 watch taken during the burglary for $20 on Saturday, and took two pairs of Beats headphones from the home, as well, per the report.
Last updated 04/20/2018 at 3:24 a.m. Raymond Arke contributed reporting.