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Monday, August 8, 2022

Ocala man arrested after taking lawnmower from victim’s front porch

A 52-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he entered the front porch of a local residence and took a lawnmower along with a can of gasoline.

On Tuesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office corporal responded to the incident location on NE 36th Place in Ocala in reference to a residential burglary. Upon arrival, the corporal made contact with an MCSO sergeant who had spoken with the victim.

The sergeant showed the corporal a picture of a man, later identified as Michael Ray Humphrey, which was captured by a security camera at the victim’s residence. The corporal recognized Humphrey from prior investigations, according to the MCSO report.

Michael Ray Humphrey
Michael Ray Humphrey

The corporal spoke with the victim over the phone, and she advised that she saw Humphrey entering her screened-in porch. He began knocking on the front door, and then he grabbed a push lawnmower and can of gasoline from the porch.

The victim told the corporal that she yelled at Humphrey through the security camera to leave the property, and she told him that she was contacting law enforcement. She stated that Humphrey left the area on foot with his dog, and they were heading eastbound from the residence.

The lawnmower and can of gasoline were valued at approximately $250.

The corporal reviewed the timestamped security footage which was provided by the victim. It showed Humphrey entering the front porch at 9:16 a.m., and he was seen dragging a red-and-black lawnmower. He also carried a red can filled with gasoline in his right hand.

Once in the front yard, the footage showed that Humphrey “flipped the lawnmower over” and he appeared to pour gasoline into it. The corporal noted in the report that the victim could be heard on the footage speaking to Humphrey, and she repeatedly asked for him to leave her property.

At one point during the footage, Humphrey identified himself by name. He then proceeded to close the front porch’s screen door and he exited the property with his dog.

While searching for Humphrey, the corporal located him in the area of NE 16th Avenue and NE 35th Street. He was walking westbound with his dog.

The corporal placed Humphrey in handcuffs and conducted a pat-down search. The MCSO report indicated that a clear plastic Ziploc bag containing two clear crystal rocks was found inside Humphrey’s right front pocket of his jeans, and the crystal rocks later field-tested positive for methamphetamine.

Humphrey admitted that it was him on the footage, though he denied that he was trying to steal the victim’s lawnmower. He claimed that he was trying to “clean the property to rent it.” When asked about the methamphetamine that was found in his pocket, he stated that he had just purchased it.

Humphrey was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $9,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, along with misdemeanor charges for possession of drug paraphernalia and first-degree petit theft (over $100 but less than $750).

A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, August 2 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.