A 44-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested after he stole a vehicle that was parked outside an auto repair shop in Dunnellon.
On Monday, June 6, a male victim contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and advised that his vehicle may have been stolen from an auto repair shop on S Highway 41. He stated that he delivered his vehicle to the incident location on Sunday, June 5, and he placed the vehicle’s key in the mail slot that was on the door.
The victim’s spouse drove by the auto shop on Monday and noticed that the victim’s vehicle was no longer parked there. When the victim called the repair shop, an employee told the victim that there was no record of his vehicle being dropped off.
According to the MCSO report, at approximately 7:35 p.m. on Monday, the victim’s vehicle was observed in the area of Baseline Road and NE 7th Street. An MCSO deputy and a K-9 partner located the vehicle traveling westbound on W Highway 40.
A felony traffic stop was conducted near the 3900 block of W Highway 40, and the driver was identified as Michael Wayne Collison. A female passenger was also inside the vehicle, and both occupants were detained.
Collison was transported to the MCSO north district office and he agreed to speak with a deputy. He advised that he received a ride to the area of Lake Tropicana on Sunday, and he visited a female friend’s residence. After leaving the residence, he stated that he was walking when he noticed the auto repair shop.
Collison advised that he approached the business and saw a lanyard sticking out from the door’s slot. He took the key, got inside the victim’s vehicle, and drove to the nearby forest. He claimed that he attempted to return the vehicle on Monday morning, but he drove past the business when he saw that employees were already there.
According to Collison, he met the female passenger at a local gas station and asked for her to head inside the convenience store to pay for gas since he did not want to be captured on the store’s surveillance footage. Once the passenger paid for gas, she entered the vehicle, and they were heading back to Dunnellon when the deputy pulled them over. He added that the passenger was not involved in the theft of the vehicle.
Collison was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $5,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for grand theft of a motor vehicle.
A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, July 12 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.