[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 05/27/20]
GROVELAND, Florida — A man who told Groveland Police he believed he “blacked out” and was still under the influence of the “meth” he used the day before, is accused of attempting to steal a $30,000 loader Thursday.
Zackuary Harless, 32, is facing a charge of grand theft more than $20,000 after an employee of Cherry Lake Tree Farm reported Harless jumped into a Volvo Loader L20F and drove it about 75 feet before being confronted by an employee. Harless fled the area on foot and another employee followed him until police arrived, according to an arrest affidavit.
Police identified Harless and he told them he “blacked out” for a period of time and officers requested Lake EMS to evaluate Harless and he was transported to South Lake Hospital. During an interview with a detective, Harless said he was under the influence and used “meth” on May 20 and believed he was still affected; he said he remembered waking up in a tractor, starting the tractor and driving it. He told police he did not know why he did it.
Employees told police they witnessed Harless drive onto the tree farm, make an unsuccessful attempt to get inside a tool shed and then jump into the loader. Harless’ vehicle was towed from the scene and when he went to the tow company on Friday, he was arrested by Groveland Police.
Harless was also charged with violation of probation and is being held at the Lake County Jail on no 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]