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Thursday, January 27, 2022

Silver Springs man allegedly enters unlocked vehicles at auto shop, steals money

A 63-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested after allegedly entering unlocked vehicles that were parked outside a local auto shop and stealing money from inside.

On Saturday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Forest Auto Care located at 18018 E Highway 40 in Silver Springs in reference to a vehicle burglary and theft.

A male victim told the deputy that his vehicle was unlocked and parked at the business on Saturday. When he later returned to the vehicle, the door was open, the glove compartment appeared to be ransacked, and all the change was taken out of the center console.

A male employee of the business stated that one of his friends had witnessed Kevin Mark Johnson wandering the parking lot outside of business hours. The employee also reviewed security footage which showed an older man go into multiple vehicles.

Silver Springs man allegedly enters unlocked vehicles at auto shop steals money
Kevin Mark Johnson

The employee stated that Johnson lived nearby and would often come to the business to collect aluminum cans.

According to the MCSO report, the deputy observed the security footage and saw an older man enter the parking lot at around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday. The man was seen opening the doors of numerous vehicles and entering them.

The report indicated that the man spent several minutes inside each vehicle. The deputy described the man as a tall and skinny white male with facial hair, a dark jacket, jeans, and a baseball hat.

At around 4:30 a.m., the man was spotted in the parking lot by a witness who was friends with the male employee. The witness identified Johnson, told him that he was trespassing, and demanded that he leave the premises.

Johnson allegedly told the witness that he was looking around because he might buy a car, and then he hurried eastbound into the woods.

The deputy was given Johnson’s address and went to the residence. Johnson was home and agreed to speak with the deputy.

Johnson stated that he was just walking through the parking lot to get to E Highway 40. He claimed he did not enter any cars or touch anything in the business.

He claimed to be good friends with the victims since he goes to the business often. He stated that his fingerprints are likely on most of the vehicles since he spends a lot of time there.

Johnson then mentioned to the deputy that he was at the business because he was looking at vehicles for a friend. He was unable to explain to the deputy why he was visiting the business after it had already closed for the day.

Johnson was arrested and an aluminum Altoids container was found in his right front pocket during a search. A blue straw and clear plastic baggie with a crystal substance were both found inside the container. The substance field tested positive for methamphetamine.

He was transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $55,500 bond. He faces ten felony charges for burglary, another felony charge for drug possession, and a misdemeanor for petit theft.

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.