A 44-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested after stealing a vehicle that was parked outside an auto repair shop in Dunnellon.
On Monday, June 6, a male victim contacted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and advised that his vehicle may have been stolen from an auto repair shop on Highway S 41. He said he delivered his vehicle to the scene of the incident on Sunday, June 5. , and he placed the vehicle key in the letter slot on the door.
The victim’s spouse drove by the auto shop on Monday and noticed that the victim’s vehicle was no longer parked there. When the victim called the repair shop, an employee told him that there was no record of the return of his vehicle.
According to the MCSO report, at approximately 7:35 p.m. Monday, the victim’s vehicle was observed in the area of Baseline Road and NE 7th Street. An MCSO deputy and a K-9 partner located the vehicle traveling westbound on the W-40 freeway.
A criminal traffic stop was carried out near the 3900 block of the W 40 Freeway, and the driver was identified as Michael Wayne Collison. A passenger was also inside the vehicle and the two occupants were arrested.
Collison was transported to the MCSO North District office and he agreed to speak to a deputy. He said he was taken to the Tropicana Lake area on Sunday and visited a friend’s residence. After leaving the residence, he said he was walking around when he noticed the auto repair shop.
Collison said he approached the business and saw a cord sticking out of the crack in the door. He took the key, got into the victim’s vehicle and drove into the nearby forest. He said he tried to return the vehicle on Monday morning, but drove past the business when he saw employees were already there.
According to Collison, he met the passenger at a local gas station and asked her to go inside the convenience store to pay for gas because he didn’t want to be captured in the store’s surveillance footage. Once the passenger paid for gas, she got into the vehicle and they were driving back to Dunnellon when the deputy stopped them. He added that the passenger was not involved in the theft of the vehicle.
Collison was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $5,000 bond. He faces a felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle.
A court date has been set for Tuesday, July 12 at 9 a.m., according to prison records.