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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Dunnellon man abandons truck, steals woman’s ATV

A 44-year-old Dunnellon man was arrested after stealing a woman’s ATV and driving through multiple gates and fences.

On Tuesday, Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residence on SW 80th Street in Ocala in reference to a vehicle theft.

A female victim told deputies that she had just arrived home when she spotted a man, later identified as Keith Edward Bullis, getting onto her 2016 Polaris Sportsman 570 ATV.

Dunnellon man steals ATV, drives through fences
Keith Edward Bullis

She yelled out to Bullis that the vehicle belonged to her, and he drove through two gates and surrounding fences which caused around $10,000 in damages.

An MCSO deputy reviewed video provided by the victim that showed Bullis approach the victim’s barn. He then detached the trailer that was connected to the ATV before the video ended.

Later that day at around 10 p.m., Bullis called MCSO and reported that his Ford truck was stolen. He had abandoned the truck with the keys inside while the engine was running.

Bullis was staying at a relative’s home, and deputies arrived at the home and took him into custody.

The relative was shown a picture from the victim’s video, and the relative confirmed that the man in the picture was Bullis.

According to the MCSO report, a deputy interviewed Bullis and observed that he was covered in scratches and bruises. This was consistent with the victim’s statement that he drove through fences.

During the interview, Bullis stated he abandoned his truck because he believed people were chasing him and shooting at him. He claimed to be hurt, needed a mode of transportation, and was in “fight or flight” mode.

When describing his options to the deputy, Bullis stated, “A: jump on a horse, B: carjack somebody. This could have went way bad. I diffused the situation the best I could. I minimized casualties.”

He told the deputy to look behind a dumpster to locate the stolen ATV, and the vehicle was later recovered behind a dumpster at the Big Lots located at 8602 State Road 200.

Bullis was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $10,000 bond. He faces felony charges for vehicle grand theft and criminal mischief.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on January 4, 2022, according to jail records.