[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 08/04/20]
EUSTIS, Florida — A man accused of stealing lawn equipment and a generator in early July was apprehended on a warrant for the thefts July 24.
On July 2, the victim came home to find his backpack blower, a trimmer, a chainsaw and a generator missing from his home on Emeralda Island Road; he checked his cameras and saw a red Chevrolet Blazer come onto his property, according to a probable cause affidavit. The victim’s elderly mother was home at the time of the burglary.
The victim posted a photo of the Blazer on social media and a friend contacted him and said he had seen the same vehicle circle his property about a week prior to the theft. The friend attempted to speak with the driver, but he had already driven off, and the man found him on a neighbor’s property. He contacted the homeowners, who told him no one was supposed to be on the property, and he told the man to leave. The friend was able to get a photo of the license plate, according to the affidavit and the plate came back registered to Charlie Christopher Wilder, 59, of Eustis. Wilder’s physical description matches the description of the man the friend spoke to, according to the affidavit.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigated and found that Clermont Police Department made contact with Wilder in June in the same vehicle and the vehicle was picked up by a license plate reader in Tampa, approximately six hours after the burglary on July 2, according to the affidavit.
Leesburg Police Department pulled over the Blazer July 7 — just five days after the burglary — and an LCSO detective responded to the scene and questioned Wilder about his involvement with the burglary. He denied involvement and denied being in Tampa the same day but admitted to being in possession of the vehicle. A warrant was issued for Wilder’s arrest July 22 and he was picked up July 24 at his apartment on Wall Street in Eustis.
Wilder was charged with grand theft and burglary of an occupied dwelling. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $12,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. Born and raised in Lake County, she is a graduate of Umatilla High School and Lake-Sumter State College. She started her journalism career at LSSC, where she was editor of both student publications, The Angler and The Odyssey. Her professional career began at the Daily Commercial in 2004 where she covered cops and courts the majority of her time there until she left in 2009. Currently, along with being Editor-in-Chief of Lake Legal News, she is the Florida bureau chief for an international media organization. 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]