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Ocala man steals lawnmowers, electric motor from thrift store in Fort McCoy

A 48-year-old Ocala man was arrested after stealing several lawnmowers and an electric motor from a thrift store in Fort McCoy.

On Wednesday, January 19, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to Needful Things located at 11398 E Highway 316 in reference to a theft.

The male victim stated that he owns the thrift store and he had noticed that multiple items were stolen from outside the store over the past two days.

On Monday, January 17 at around 11 p.m., an electric push lawnmower was stolen. It was outside the store along the side of the building, and it was being stored behind several U-Haul trucks.

The next day, on January 18 at around 11 p.m., the second push lawnmower was stolen from the same location. The victim also noticed that an electric motor was removed from the table saw that was outside the store and the wires had been cut.

The estimated value of the stolen items was $1,250.

The victim had security footage from both thefts which showed a man, later identified as Leslie Keith Dasher, who had a bandage on his left hand. Dasher loaded the stolen items into his green Ford truck.

Leslie Keith Dasher
Leslie Keith Dasher

According to the MCSO report, a deputy recalled speaking with Dasher regarding an unrelated matter, and the deputy remembered that Dasher had a similar bandage on his hand, and he also drove a green truck.

The victim posted a photo of the theft suspect on social media and he received numerous responses that stated the man in the photo was Dasher.

On Wednesday, January 19, after the store had closed, the stolen items were returned, and Dasher was again seen on the store’s security footage.

On Thursday, January 27, an MCSO deputy responded to a NE 154th Court residence in Fort McCoy and located Dasher. He told the deputy that he only took the two mowers and the electric motor.

Dasher initially claimed that the stolen items were located in the front of the store, but he later admitted that they were on the side of the building behind the U-Haul trucks.

He stated that he thought the mowers were left outside because they were being “given away.” When the deputy asked if he really thought they were free, Dasher stated that he was not sure.

According to Dasher, the stolen items were returned to the store because he had heard that there was video footage that showed him taking the items.

Dasher was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail. He is currently being held on $2,000 bond and he is facing a felony charge for grand theft of less than $5,000.

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