A 19-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he admitted to stealing a victim’s weed eater and pawning it at a local store.
On Thursday, July 28, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the incident location on NW 76th Terrace in Ocala in reference to the theft. Upon arrival, the deputy met with the male victim who stated that his orange 28CC Husqvarna weed eater had been stolen, and he added that his first initial and last name were written on the engine’s cover.
The victim advised that he had hired Greggory Raeth Stewart to do some yard work at his residence earlier in the day.
Since the victim was not at the residence, he advised that he called Stewart and asked him to use the victim’s weed eater to trim around the home. Stewart allegedly told the victim that there was no weed eater at the residence, and he proceeded to leave the area.
When the victim later returned home, he was unable to find his weed eater, and he contacted Stewart’s employer to inquire if Stewart had mentioned a weed eater. Stewart’s employer told the victim to contact a local pawn shop to see if the weed eater had possibly been pawned there.
The victim called the American Pawn at 14 SW 1st Avenue in Ocala, and an employee advised that a weed eater was pawned at the store approximately 30 minutes prior to the victim’s call. The victim provided the employee with a description of the weed eater, and the store confirmed that the weed eater had been pawned by Stewart for $60.
The deputy made contact with staff members of the pawn shop who advised that Stewart had attempted to pay the pawn shop to retrieve the weed eater. According to the MCSO report, a manager was informed that the weed eater had been reported stolen, and the manager refused to give it back to Stewart.
An employee provided the deputy with a copy of the pawn ticket which had Stewart’s name, signature, and thumb print on it.
On Tuesday, August 2, an MCSO corporal responded to the pawn shop and viewed the weed eater that Stewart had pawned. The corporal observed that the victim’s first initial and last name were written in black marker on the front of the engine’s cover.
The deputy and corporal responded to the 7100 block of SW 19th Avenue Road and located Stewart. After he was read his Miranda rights, Stewart initially denied stealing the victim’s weed eater and claimed that the victim had given him permission to “take it.” The MCSO report indicated that Stewart eventually admitted to stealing the weed eater and pawning it.
Prior to a pat-down search, Stewart informed the deputy that he had some marijuana and a medical marijuana card. A clear plastic bag filled with a green leafy substance was found in the front right pocket of his pants, and the substance field-tested positive for marijuana. When asked if he really had a medical marijuana card, Stewart admitted to the deputy that he did not have one.
A computer check of the medical marijuana card registry revealed that Stewart did not have an active, valid medical marijuana card.
Stewart was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he was later released on $9,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for dealing in stolen property and providing false owner information on a pawned item (less than $300). He is also facing misdemeanor charges for first degree petit theft (over $100 but less than $300) and possession of marijuana (20 grams or less).
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.