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Ocala
Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Weirsdale man arrested after stealing generator from victim’s shed

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 51-year-old Weirsdale man after he admitted to stealing a generator from a shed that was located on the victim’s fenced-in property.

On Monday, at approximately 11 a.m., an MCSO corporal responded to a local residence in reference to a burglary and petit theft incident. Upon arrival, the corporal made contact with the male victim who advised that he owns the incident location.

According to the victim, the property spans multiple acres and is completely fenced in. The victim advised that a detached shed, which does not have a door, is also located on the property.

The victim stated that on Tuesday, November 1, he had observed his 3,250-watt generator inside the shed with two large transparent garbage bags on top of it. When the victim returned to the shed at approximately 10:15 a.m. on Monday, November 14, he noticed that the generator was missing.

The generator was not operable and had an approximate value of $600, according to the MCSO report.

The victim told the corporal that he searched the area and observed that the perimeter fence had been pushed to the ground on the west side of his property. The corporal was led to this area and noted in the report that tire impressions were visible on the neighboring property. These tire impressions were “consistent with the wheelbase of the generator’s wheels.”

The corporal observed that the tire impressions led to the surrounding area of a recreational vehicle that was located on the neighboring property. The victim advised that he was friends with the owner of that property.

The MCSO report stated that a man, later identified as Michael John Lightfoot, was observed walking towards the corporal and victim from the direction of the RV.

Michael John Lightfoot
Michael John Lightfoot

Lightfoot told the corporal that he had been living inside the RV for over two weeks. He claimed that he was given permission to use the property along with the detached shed that was located behind the RV.

After receiving permission to search the RV, the corporal asked if Lightfoot had seen a generator that was from the victim’s neighboring property. Lightfoot initially claimed that he had located a generator on his own property where the RV was located. He stated that the generator had been found near the woods, and he dragged it inside of the detached shed on his property.

According to the MCSO report, Lightfoot walked toward the detached shed, opened the wooden front sliding door, and told the corporal that the generator was located inside. Lightfoot claimed that the generator was the same one that he had found near the woods on his property.

After being read his Miranda rights, Lightfoot admitted that he had jumped over the victim’s fence and walked to the victim’s shed where he found the generator inside. He further admitted that he entered the victim’s shed, grabbed the generator, and dragged it onto his property.

Lightfoot told the corporal that he knew the generator did not belong to him and he had taken it anyway.

In the MCSO report, the corporal noted that contact was made with the owner of the property where the RV was located, and the owner confirmed that Lightfoot had permission to utilize the detached shed where the stolen generator was located.

Lightfoot was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $6,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure and a misdemeanor charge for first degree petit theft (over $100 but less than $300).

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