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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Man arrested in Ocala after stealing bicycle from victim’s home

A 24-year-old man was arrested in Ocala after he admitted to stealing a bicycle from a local residence.

On Tuesday, a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to the victim’s home in reference to a stolen bicycle. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with the female victim who advised that a man had stolen her bicycle at approximately 1 p.m.

According to the MCSO report, the victim had video surveillance footage of the incident, which showed a skinny white male wearing a red shirt and black hat. The deputy observed that the male suspect had multiple tattoos on his arms and face.

On the footage, the deputy observed that the suspect was under the carport, which was attached to the victim’s residence and enclosed on three sides with a roof. The deputy noted that the suspect pushed the victim’s black bicycle away from the residence, and a red cellphone holder was visible on the bicycle near the handlebar.

The victim advised that the bicycle was valued at $300.

The deputy was familiar with a large camping area near the incident location, and many people were often observed riding bicycles in the area, according to the MCSO report. The deputy responded to this area to conduct a search for the victim’s bicycle.

While walking through the woods, the deputy observed a black bicycle near a tent with a red cellphone holder that matched the description of the victim’s bicycle. The deputy observed a man with multiple tattoos, later identified as Brandon Hunter Bentley, who was sitting close to the bicycle. He was wearing a red shirt and black hat, according to the MCSO report.

Brandon Hunter Bentley
Brandon Hunter Bentley

Bentley told the deputy that the bicycle was not his. When the deputy approached him, Bentley stood up and became “standoffish.” The deputy attempted to detain Bentley and he responded by tensing up and pulling away from the deputy.

When the deputy briefly let go of Bentley, he began to run through the woods. After a brief foot chase, Bentley was apprehended and secured in handcuffs. The deputy noted in the MCSO report that a knife was observed in Bentley’s hand, which was removed by the deputy.

After being read his Miranda rights, Bentley advised that he ran because he was scared. When asked about the knife, he stated that he had no intentions to cause any harm and just “had it on him.”

According to the MCSO report, Bentley initially claimed that he did not take the bicycle from the victim’s residence. He then claimed that he purchased the bicycle for $80 and the victim had stolen it from him, though the deputy noted in the report that Bentley was unable to accurately describe the victim.

After further questioning, Bentley told the deputy that he entered under the victim’s carport to steal the bicycle because he “needed one to get around easier.” He confirmed that he never purchased the bicycle and that it was “just easy to take.”

Bentley was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $8,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for unarmed burglary of an unoccupied structure and grand theft of a dwelling (over $100 but less than $750), along with a misdemeanor charge for resisting a law enforcement officer without violence.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, according to jail records.