An Ocala man is behind bars after he allegedly threw a concrete block at a Marathon gas station window in an effort to steal liquor.
David Allen Collins, 58, of 3612 SE 34th Court, was charged Wednesday with unarmed burglary of an occupied commercial structure. Collins told a Marion County sheriff’s deputy that another man offered him $100 to break the window and steal the liquor but left him behind when the brick bounced off the window without breaking it.
The owner of the store, located at 3820 SE Lake Weir Ave., told the deputy he was doing inventory at around 11 p.m. when he heard a loud bang on the store window. He said he walked out of the gas station and observed a man – later identified as Collins – running away. The victim said he also saw black vehicle speed away from the parking lot, according to the sheriff’s office report.
The victim said he saw a concrete block on the ground next to the window where he heard the bang and saw a chip in the window. He said he was familiar with Collins, due to him always being at the store, and knows him by name, the report said.
While a deputy was speaking with the victim, Collins walked in front of the store on Lake Weir Avenue without a shirt on. When asked if Collins was the suspect, the victim started yelling it was. The deputy asked Collins to come over and tell him what happened, according to the report.
Collins told the deputy he was sitting across the street when a black car pulled up and asked to borrow his phone to use the light to look for a crack rock. Collins said the man in the vehicle offered him $100 to take a brick, throw it at the window and try to steal the 15 bottles of liquor on a rack just inside the window, the report said.
Collins said he agreed and got into the vehicle and they drove across the street and into the parking lot. He said he got out of the vehicle, picked up a brick and wrapped it in a blanket and threw it at the window. He said the brick bounced off the window and didn’t break it, so he took off running back towards the vehicle. Collins said the driver drove away and left him there, according to the report.
Surveillance video from the store showed Collins walk up to the window, throw the block and then take off running away from the store. Collins can be clearly seen in the video wearing no shirt, the same pants and shoes, and a blanket over his head, the report said.
The victim estimated it would cost about $4,000 to repair the small gash in the window, according to the report.
Collins was taken to the Marion County Jail, where he’s being held on $20,000 bond. He will appear in Marion County Court on Oct. 13.