A 29-year-old Summerfield man was arrested after stealing sod from a construction site located at an Ocala retirement community.
On Tuesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to On Top of the World’s community offices located at 9850 SW 84th Court in Ocala in reference to a theft.
A witness at the office recalled seeing a man, later identified as Nicholas Gerald Lamia, stealing sod from a construction site.
A vehicle description was provided by the witness, and a check of the office’s security cameras revealed a GMC four-door pickup truck entering the gates of a property located on the 8000 block of SW 76th Street Road at around 11:15 a.m.
The truck was pulling a trailer and was occupied by at least two men. Lamia was identified as the driver.
A company by the name of Above and Beyond Landscaping was contracted to work on the site, and a check of the truck’s registration revealed that it belonged to the landscaping company.
A witness told the deputy that there are numerous homes under construction in the area. The witness observed the truck park in front of a residence located on the 7000 block of SW 89th Circle.
According to the witness, Lamia exited the truck, approached a pallet of sod in the front yard, and began placing the sod from the pallet into the bed of the truck.
After several moments, Lamia re-entered the vehicle and drove away. The witness attempted to follow the vehicle but was unable to catch up.
The deputy observed on the security footage that the truck entered the area without sod, and sod was clearly visible on the truck bed when the truck left.
Later in the day, the same truck was again reported back at the property located on the 8000 block of SW 76th Street Road.
The deputy arrived at that location and observed Lamia walking into the residence. Several men were also at the residence, and one of those men admitted to being with Lamia when he took the sod.
An MCSO detective later spoke with Lamia, and he admitted to the theft. He stated he took the sod to repair some grass he had damaged at a residence he was working at.
Lamia was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and later released on $2,000 bond. He faces a felony charge for grand theft from a construction site.
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.