[PHOTO CREDIT: Lake County Sheriff’s Office]
[Original Publish Date: 09/21/20]
MOUNT DORA, Florida — A man who Mount Dora Police are calling a five-time convicted thief was arrested again last week after stealing nearly $200 worth a merchandise from Hobby Lobby on surveillance video, according to an arrest affidavit.
Justin Maurice Blunt, 26, of Eustis is accused of putting two sewing machines and a Cricut bag in a cart and leaving Hobby Lobby, 16880 U.S. Highway 441, Mount Dora without paying Thursday. Blunt is alleged to have left the store with the items as he was confronted by an employee and then fled towards Eustis, according to the affidavit.
A witness spied Blunt take off the black shirt he was wearing and continue towards Wendy’s, 2817 South Bay Street, Eustis, she told Mount Dora Police Department. Blunt put the items down before he went into Wendy’s and then picked them back up as he exited Wendy’s a few minutes later, the affidavit states.
Officers with Eustis Police Department were asked to assist MDPD and an EPD officer saw Blunt running near Lake Hills Plaza, located across the street from Wendy’s, according to a second arrest affidavit. The EPD officer found Blunt attempting to hide behind a dumpster and Blunt ran; he was ordered to stop and the EPD officer unholstered his CEW (conducted electrical weapon) and after a “brief foot chase” Blunt sat down on the ground and was taken into custody.
Blunt was charged with resisting an officer without violence by EPD and retail theft (third or subsequent offense) by MDPD. He is being held in the Lake County Jail on $3,000 bond. The stolen items were returned to Hobby Lobby.
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]