A 22-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested recently on burglary and larceny charges after a neighbor spotted him lurking outside a vacant Ocala home that is being remodeled.
Marion County sheriff’s deputies detained Ronald L. Haddix, of 16925 E. Fort King St., at around 7:30 a.m. June 8 outside the residence on SE 50th Terrace. A man who lives across the street from the incident location told a deputy he saw a white vehicle in the driveway of the home, which he knew was under construction, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The witness said he went outside to investigate and saw a man, later identified as Haddix, walk around the north side of the residence with a cooler in his hand. He said when Haddix saw him, he immediately placed the cooler on the ground behind a construction dumpster and approached him, the report said.
The witness said Haddix asked him if he knows who owns the house because he was looking to rent or even buy a place. The witness said based his 51 years in law enforcement, the questions Haddix asked – coupled with him having property in his hand – were highly suspicious. He said he told Haddix not to lave the property while he went inside to call law enforcement, according to the report.
Deputies determined the entry point to be a new sliding door without a locking mechanism and identified footprints in a pile of sand in the middle of the living room as belonging to Haddix. The contractor of the remodel project arrived at the scene and said he doesn’t know Haddix and that there should not be anyone on the property, the report said.
The contractor identified the items removed from the property as a cooler worth $20, construction twine with an estimated value of $5, and a Bostich pneumatic nail gun worth about $200, bringing the total value of the property to $225. He said the items should have been in the bedroom on the east side of the residence instead of behind the construction dumpster, according to the report.
Both the contractor and the manager of the company that owns the home said they wanted to pursue charges against Haddix, the report said.
Haddix told the deputies he was at the property because a real estate friend he only knows as “Jim” told him to look at it. Haddix said his father won a small amount of money a was interested in either renting or buying the property. He said he walked to the back of the property and entered through the sliding glass doors, according to the report.
Haddix said once he was inside the residence, he called out to see if anyone was there and didn’t hear anyone. He said he walked outside the residence and noticed a cooler on the ground, so he thought it would be best to put it on the front porch. Haddix said he didn’t know what was in the cooler, and he acknowledged that he didn’t have permission to be inside the home, the report said.
Haddix was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he was released on $12,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on July 14.