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Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Man arrested after stealing golf cart, tools from Dunnellon residence

A 58-year-old man was arrested by the Marion County Sheriff’s Office after he admitted to stealing a golf cart and tools from a residence in Dunnellon.

On Sunday, January 8, an MCSO deputy responded to a residence located in the 19000 block of SW 96th Place in Dunnellon in reference to a burglary incident. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the victim who advised that an unknown suspect had entered his home and stolen a golf cart along with multiple tools, according to the MCSO report.

The victim advised that the theft had occurred sometime between Sunday, January 1 and Saturday, January 7.

The victim advised that the golf cart had distinctive front lights that were smaller than the factory set lights. He told the deputy that the other missing items included a Shop-Vac vacuum, broom, several saws, and a bag containing miscellaneous tools.

The MCSO report listed the value of the stolen items at approximately $3,855.

The deputy observed that the back screen door of the victim’s residence, which led to a pool area, had been cut near the handle. The victim stated that the suspect must have entered the home through the back sliding glass door.

The MCSO report stated that on Tuesday, January 3, a female eyewitness contacted the sheriff’s office to report a man who had parked a golf cart in her driveway. According to the eyewitness, the man had unplugged the Christmas lights in front of her driveway and had used the outlet to charge the golf cart.

The eyewitness stated that the man, along with the golf cart, were in the driveway for “about four hours.” According to the MCSO report, the eyewitness had video surveillance footage of the incident.

The victim viewed the surveillance footage from the eyewitness, and the victim confirmed that the golf cart belonged to him. The victim was able to identify it due to the distinct replacement lights that were on the front of the golf cart, according to the MCSO report.

During a separate incident on Wednesday, January 4, an MCSO deputy responded to a local residence due to a verbal dispute involving two individuals: an unidentified homeowner and a second man who was identified in the MCSO report as David Wayne Morris. According to the report, Morris was trespassed from the property during this incident.

David Wayne Morris
David Wayne Morris

Five days later, on Monday, January 9, an MCSO deputy investigating the golf cart theft responded to the residence and made contact with the homeowner. According to the homeowner, Morris had arrived at the property on January 4 with a golf cart, and Morris had allegedly claimed to have stolen it in a neighborhood that was “south of Highway 40 and Highway 41.”

The MCSO report stated that the deputy utilized investigative techniques to identify Morris from a prior booking photo, which matched the individual that was observed on the video surveillance footage from the eyewitness. In addition, the homeowner from the January 4 incident was shown the video surveillance footage and positively identified the suspect as Morris.

On Tuesday, January 10, the deputy made contact with Morris. After being read his Miranda rights, Morris admitted to burglarizing the victim’s residence, and he further admitted to stealing the victim’s golf cart and tools.

Morris was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $40,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for unarmed burglary of an unoccupied dwelling, grand theft of a motor vehicle, and grand theft (over $300 but less than $5,000).

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, February 14, according to jail records.