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Monday, June 20, 2022

Woman jailed after attempting to steal Walmart employee’s SUV

A 38-year-old woman was arrested in Ocala after she attempted to steal a Walmart employee’s sport utility vehicle.

On Saturday, June 18, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the Walmart located at 9570 SW Highway 200 in Ocala in reference to an attempted vehicle theft. Upon arrival, the deputy observed a woman, later identified as Jessica Lyn Eaton, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of an SUV.

Jessica Lyn Eaton
Jessica Lyn Eaton

A Walmart employee approached the deputy, pointed at the SUV, and stated, “That’s her.” Eaton stepped outside of the vehicle and walked towards the deputy.

The deputy asked Eaton what had happened, and she requested to sit inside the deputy’s patrol car because it was hot outside. When asked again what had happened, Eaton stated that she entered the victim’s vehicle because “she was scared.”

Eaton told the deputy that she was unsure who the SUV belonged to and confirmed that she “broke into it.” The deputy detained her in handcuffs and placed her inside the patrol car.

The deputy made contact with the female victim who was a store employee. She stated that she was on a break during her shift when she walked into the parking lot and spotted Eaton inside her vehicle.

The victim stated that she yelled at Eaton to get out of the vehicle. Eaton eventually stepped outside, and the victim advised that Eaton proceeded to ask for a ride and a cigarette. The victim responded by telling Eaton to leave.

When the victim entered her vehicle, she observed bent metal tweezers that were stuck in the ignition. She removed the tweezers and parked her vehicle a few spots away. The victim stated that another employee came outside and requested for her to enter the store so that she could call law enforcement.

According to the victim, she left the vehicle locked and headed inside the store to call 911. While the victim was away, Eaton re-entered the victim’s vehicle, and she remained inside the vehicle until the deputy arrived on scene.

The MCSO report indicated that the deputy walked over to the victim’s vehicle to check the interior and observed bent metal tweezers that were in the ignition. When the deputy removed the tweezers, the vehicle made an audible noise as though a key had been removed.

The victim advised the deputy that a shirt in the back of the vehicle did not belong to her. The deputy noted in the report that the shirt appeared to be stained with feces and had a strong odor.

While the deputy was speaking with the victim, Eaton began yelling from the patrol car. The deputy walked over and saw that Eaton’s right wrist was no longer in the handcuff. After replacing the handcuff, the deputy told her that she would be charged with resisting arrest if she slipped her hand out of the handcuff again.

The victim informed the deputy that her vehicle’s back hatch was previously broken, and this was likely how Eaton had entered the vehicle. The deputy returned to the patrol car and observed that the handcuff on Eaton’s left wrist was removed. After she was placed back in handcuffs, she agreed to an interview.

Eaton admitted that she entered the vehicle through the unlocked hatch in the back. She claimed that she entered the vehicle because she was “spooked” by a man in the parking lot. She also admitted to using the tweezers to try to start the vehicle because she “wanted to leave.”

The victim noticed that a single dollar bill was missing from the center console in her vehicle. Eaton admitted that she took the dollar bill and the deputy collected it from her.

Eaton was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where she is currently being held on $16,500 bond. She is facing felony charges for grand theft of a motor vehicle (two counts) and unarmed burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, along with misdemeanor charges for second degree petit theft (first offense) and resisting an officer without violence.

A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, July 19 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.