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Sunday, March 3, 2024

Ocala woman jailed after stealing friend’s car

A 25-year-old Ocala woman is facing several charges after she was accused of stealing her friend’s car and making unauthorized purchases using the victim’s debit card.

On January 4, the female victim contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and reported that her car had been stolen by her friend, Alexis Marie McRoberts.

Alexis Marie McRoberts
Alexis Marie McRoberts

An MCSO deputy spoke with the victim and learned that the incident began on the evening of January 3. The victim advised that she was “hanging out” with McRoberts in front of an Ocala residence when a verbal altercation ensued inside the victim’s vehicle. According to the victim’s statement, the argument started because she had refused to drive McRoberts to another location.

The victim stated that she stepped away from the vehicle for around 10 minutes to “calm down.” When she returned to the area where her vehicle had been parked, she discovered that it was gone, according to the report.

Since the victim was friends with McRoberts, she told the deputy that she did not report the incident immediately, and instead walked back home. The victim advised that she attempted to reach McRoberts via a Facebook voice chat, but McRoberts ultimately blocked her.

The report stated that the victim later learned that McRoberts had contacted a family member and advised that the stolen car was parked at the Circle K gas station located at 909 NE 28th Street in Ocala. When the victim arrived at the gas station that same morning, she located her vehicle.

The deputy noted in the report that the victim also discovered that the following unauthorized transactions had been made using her debit card:

  • At 4:14 a.m. on January 4, $303.95 was withdrawn from an ATM at the 7-11 gas station located at 2811 NW 10th Street in Ocala.
  • At 4:51 a.m. on January 4, $43.60 worth of merchandise was purchased at the Speedway gas station located at 1280 SW 27th Avenue in Ocala.
  • At 5:44 a.m., $83.99 was withdrawn from an ATM at the Circle K gas station located at 909 NE 28th Street in Ocala.

The victim advised that her debit card had been left in her car when it was stolen. Several months prior to the theft, she stated that she had given McRoberts the debit card to make purchases, which is likely how McRoberts was able to remember the PIN number, according to the report.

The deputy reviewed video surveillance footage from the three gas stations where the victim’s debit card had been used. The report stated that at each location, McRoberts was observed on the footage at the times that the debit card was used. In addition, the victim’s car was observed backing into a parking space on Circle K’s surveillance footage, and McRoberts proceeded to enter the convenience store moments later.

On Monday, January 29, another MCSO deputy began investigating the case, and the deputy made contact with McRoberts in the 8400 block of SW 61st Terrace Road. After being read her Miranda rights, she confirmed that an argument with the victim had occurred, and she admitted that she had taken the vehicle because she “needed a ride home,” according to the report.

McRoberts told the deputy that she left the victim’s vehicle at Circle K because she knew the victim had already contacted law enforcement. When confronted about the unauthorized transactions on the victim’s debit card, the report stated that McRoberts admitted to making those transactions.

The deputy noted that McRoberts was shown a still image from the gas station video footage collected during the investigation, and she confirmed that it was her.

McRoberts was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail, where she is currently being held on $6,000 bond. She is being charged with grand theft of a motor vehicle, fraudulent use of a credit card (three times within six months), and first-degree petit theft over $100 but less than $300.

A court date has been scheduled at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 5, according to jail records.