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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Man accused of stealing over $800 worth of electronics from Walmart

A 34-year-old man was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after he was accused of stealing over $800 worth of electronics from the Walmart located at 34 Bahia Avenue in Ocala.

On Tuesday, an MCSO corporal responded to the Walmart in reference to an incident of grand theft. Upon arrival, the corporal made contact with a loss prevention employee who stated that a computer ($649 value) and speaker ($179 value) had been stolen from the store.

The employee advised that one of the store’s managers had observed a man walking through the automotive department and exiting the store, which activated the spider alarm from one of the stolen electronic items.

According to the employee, video surveillance footage of the theft showed the male suspect grabbing the computer and speaker, and he was then observed walking past all points of sale in the automotive department before exiting the store. The corporal reviewed this video footage.

The male suspect was later identified as Matthew Lamar Underwood.

Matthew Lamar Underwood
Matthew Lamar Underwood

According to the MCSO report, the manager observed Underwood as he placed two boxes into the back seat of a white Volvo SUV. After returning the shopping cart to the store’s entrance, Underwood climbed into the back seat of the SUV, and two other individuals were observed inside the vehicle.

The manager took a picture of the SUV which showed the license plate. Several other employees were interviewed by the corporal and recalled seeing Underwood leave the parking lot in a white Volvo.

The corporal ran a computer search of the SUV’s license plate, identified the female owner of the vehicle, and learned that the vehicle was possibly located at Greenfield Apartments. Upon arrival at the apartment complex, the corporal located the SUV in the 5300 block of SE 28th Lane.

The MCSO report stated that the corporal observed Underwood entering one of the apartments. The SUV’s owner was standing outside the vehicle, and she advised that she had given Underwood a ride to Walmart.

According to the female witness, she saw Underwood return to the SUV with two boxes, and she had assumed that he had paid for the items. She allowed the corporal to look inside the vehicle, and the corporal observed an empty box for the speaker.

The corporal approached the front door of the apartment that Underwood had entered. An unidentified male eventually opened the door but would not allow the corporal inside. The witness was permitted to enter the apartment, and she returned to the corporal with the stolen speaker and computer.

The witness advised that Underwood was inside a bedroom and was not going to exit the apartment.

The MCSO report stated that the corporal was eventually able to search the apartment, but Underwood was not located inside. The corporal then responded to the neighboring apartment, which was vacant and unsecured. Shortly after the corporal entered the vacant apartment, Underwood exited a bathroom inside the unit and was secured in handcuffs.

After being read his Miranda rights, Underwood initially denied committing the theft. When the corporal advised that he was observed on video stealing the computer and speaker, Underwood stated that he was “pretty much homeless and had no money,” and he advised that people would pay him for the items.

Underwood was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $2,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for grand theft (over $300 but less than $5,000).

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