[PHOTO CREDIT: Google Maps / Bayside Liquors]
[Original Publish Date: 12/14/19]
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EUSTIS, Florida — A combined effort by Eustis Police Department, Mount Dora Police Department, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Orange Sheriff’s Office put two burglars behind bars early Thursday morning.
OCSO deputies took two men into custody around 1:15 a.m. Thursday, after they smashed the front door at Bayside Liquors, 312 Ardice Avenue, Eustis and loaded up on numerous bottles of liquor. The men, who were in a 2017 maroon Nissan Maxima, were under surveillance by OCSO after being suspected of committing several liquor store burglaries in Orange County. OCSO followed the men from Orange County into Mount Dora and finally to Bayside Liquors in Eustis, where they witnessed Gerald Marquee Bell, 30, and Joshua Jermaine Leaster, 19, shatter the front door and take two large, wheeled duffel bags into the store.
One bag was completely full, containing nearly $900 worth of various types of liquor. The Nissan, which was backed in at the front of the store, had several cases of Hennessy in the trunk valued at $490 per case. The Hennessy was surrounded by loose bottles of liquor with an undetermined value.
Bell, of Orlando, attempted to run from the store as deputies arrived, but was quickly apprehended and searched, according to the affidavit. He was found with a pair of gloves and a center punch tool; a tool used to break glass.
Leaster, also of Orlando, attempted to flee from the store by going through a door into Bayside Lounge, 316 Ardice Avenue, startling an employee who was preparing to close for the night. Leaster asked, “Where’s the back door, hoe?,” and the employee ran out of the building. Leaster went into a bathroom, where he discarded a shirt and gloves. He eventually surrendered.
Both men were charged with burglary to an occupied business, grand theft, possession of burglary tools and criminal mischief. Both men were released late Thursday night on $21,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]