A career criminal being sought in a carjacking at a Belleview discount store last week was arrested Friday night in Tavares.
Todd Wesley Carter, 29, was taken into custody by deputies from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office shortly after 6 p.m. He was booked into the Lake County Jail an hour later and charged with carjacking with a firearm. He is being held on $50,000 bond, jail records show.
Carter’s arrest follows the issuance of a missing/endangered bulletin put out by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after the carjacking took place at the Family Dollar store in Belleview last Sunday around 1:30 p.m. It stated that Carter had made contact with an acquaintance and made comments that “caused concern for his safety and the safety of others.” And it said an active warrant had been issued for his arrest and he should be considered armed and dangerous.
When deputies arrived at the store, located at 10040 E Hwy. 25, a woman told them that a man matching Carter’s description had climbed into the passenger seat of her 1999 beige Buick Century in the parking lot of the Family Dollar store, pointed a black gun at her head and said, “Drive,” a Marion County sheriff’s office report states.
The woman said she quickly exited the vehicle and ran inside the store to call 911 for help. Carter then drove away in her car and headed east on E Hwy. 25 at a high rate of speed, the report says.
The woman told deputies that she was in her vehicle when she first spotted Carter standing next to an ice machine. She said he was wearing tan work boots, no shirt and was holding a black bag. And she added that she became uncomfortable because he “kept looking at her in a very unorthodox way,” the report says.
Carter, who is originally from Deland and lives at 12051 SE 74th Terr. in Belleview, is no stranger to the legal system. He’s been held in the Marion County Jail 10 times since February 2007 on a litany of charges, including petit theft, larceny/shoplifting, retail felony petit theft, possession of drug paraphernalia, retail grand theft, larceny/grand theft, failure to appear in court on a petit theft charge, trespassing, domestic battery and resisting arrest without violence.
Carter was arrested in Sumter County in November 2018 and charged with larceny/petit theft (second offense). He was released the following morning on $2,000 bond.
Carter also spent time in the Lake County Jail last year after being arrested in January. He was charged with two counts of felony petit theft, possessing a concealed weapon while engaged in a criminal offense, resisting a merchant during a retail theft and grand theft. Prior charges of grand theft, felony petit theft and revocation of bond also were added from Marion County.