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Dunnellon man admits to showering and eating in unoccupied home

Jonathan Wayne Snyder

A Dunnellon man who spent nearly six months in jail last year is back behind bars after admitting to breaking into an unoccupied residence and making himself at home.

Jonathan Wayne Snyder, 35, of 1345 NW 165th Court Road, was arrested Tuesday night and charged with burglary of an unoccupied dwelling (unarmed) and second-degree petit theft (second offense) in connection with the incident, which happened at a home in the 500 block of NW Court Road.

Snyder has a half-dozen prior arrests dating back to when he was 18, and he completed a sentence in the Marion County Jail from April 20 to Oct. 7 of last year for trespassing and violating his probation for grand theft and possession of methamphetamine, according to jail records.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy responded to the incident location on Tuesday night after a neighbor across the street reported a suspicious person. The witness said at around 3 p.m., she saw Snyder at the home. She said the victim is in the process of moving and is currently staying in Tampa, according to the sheriff’s office report.

The witness said shortly after she saw Snyder, his father arrived and escorted him home. She said she saw Snyder again at around 9:30 p.m. inside the victim’s fenced hard. The witness said she called the victim, who asked her to contact law enforcement because Snyder did not have permission to be at the property. She said Snyder took off walking northbound towards his home down the street, the report said.

One deputy checked the perimeter of the residence and didn’t find any signs of forced entry, while another deputy called the victim, who said he was on his way to the incident location. The victim said he is still in the process of moving and was last at around noon Sunday, according to the report.

When the victim arrived, he immediately noticed a chair in the living room out of place. Deputies found a cell phone, ear buds, a watch, a lighter, a white baseball hat and a “Gucci” facemask on the kitchen counter. The victim said the items did not belong to him, the report said.

The victim found a pair of white shorts in the master bathroom that didn’t belong to him, as well as a bottle of Sprite and a tray from a frozen meal inside a trash bag that was not there previously. He said his mother occasionally stays in the in-law suite directly next to his residence and she usually leaves her key inside the deadbolt due to her arthritis, according to the report.

The victim was unable to find his mother’s key and said he believed that is how Snyder got into the home. He said he has never met Snyder and only knows about him after speaking with his neighbors, the report said.

Deputies went to Snyder’s house, where they read him his Miranda warning before interviewing him. Snyder said he was walking home and cut through the victim’s yard. He said he saw the key in the in-law suite door and used it to get into the primary residence, according to the report.

Snyder said when he entered the house, he washed the dishes and swept the floors. He said he took a shower in the master bathroom and left a pair of shorts that he had been wearing underneath his pants. Snyder said he drank a bottle of Sprite and took two bottles of water from the refrigerator. He said he also ate a frozen meal he found in the freezer, the report said.

Snyder said “Billy” gave him the residence as a gift and was told “Mario” was going to be living in the guest house. While on the way to jail, Snyder said he left the key to the residence in the freezer along with his debit card and some cash. The deputy contacted the victim, who found the items inside the freezer, according to the report.

Snyder is being held on $15,000 bond and will appear in Marion County Court on March 30.

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