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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Man popped on burglary charge after personal items left behind in Leesburg office

Hector F. Gutierrez

A Miami man who apparently left behind a prescription bottle and his Social Security card at a burglarized Leesburg office building is behind bars in the Lake County Jail.

Leesburg Police officers responded to the building at 1300 Citizens Blvd. early Wednesday morning after receiving reports of an overnight burglary in a second-floor tenant that wasn’t named. The building, which is somewhat of an icon in Leesburg, is known for housing ERA Grizzard Real Estate and Grizzard Commercial Real Estate Group. It also is home to Brown & Brown of Florida Inc., Care for Pastors, Lake Sumter Metropolitan Planning Organization, Early Steps Program and Spectrum Reach, as well as the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County, which is the only agency listed on the second floor in the building’s lobby directory.

Officers spoke with several employees who reported that when they reported to work, they noticed “small items” had been moved from their original locations. One employee said a backpack containing miscellaneous items was in her office and it didn’t belong there. She said there were items on her desk – prescription medication, a cell phone, a cap, sunglasses and multiple flashlights – that appeared to have come from the backpack, a Leesburg Police report states.

The employee told officers that an Apple iPad 8 was located on her desk that had come from a different location. She said a second iPad also was missing from the cabinet where the computers were stored.

A second employee reported finding thumb tacks scattered on her desk and office chair. She also reported some type of fluid on her keyboard that appeared to officers to possibly be some type of bodily fluid, the report says.

A third employee told officers that she returned to work at about 6:10 p.m. to retrieve her cell phone and heard rustling noises coming from a set of cubicles. She said she didn’t investigate and left the building, the report says.

Hector F. Gutierrez, 42, is being held in the Lake County Jail after being accused of burglarizing a second-floor tenant in this office building in Leesburg, located at 1300 Citizens Blvd. The only second-floor tenant listed on the directory in the building’s lobby is the Early Learning Coalition of Lake County. The building is known for housing ERA Grizzard Real Estate and Grizzard Commercial Real Estate Group.

During the investigation, officers discovered the name of Hector F. Gutierrez on the prescription bottle, along with his Social Security card. A dispatcher then reported that officers had made contact with Gutierrez twice on Tuesday in reference to a trespass warning and had had arrested him and taken him to the Lake County Jail, where he was still being housed.

The business’ security team arrived a short time later and provided video surveillance of whom officers determined was Gutierrez entering the office. Officers noted that he appeared to be wet from rainy weather and intoxicated. They also noted that he spent considerable time in several locations inside the office.

After officers compared photos of Gutierrez to the person shown in the surveillance video, he was charged with unarmed burglary of an occupied structure, petit theft and criminal mischief. He was being held on $7,500 bond, which includes the original trespass after warning charge, and is due in court Nov. 23 at 8:30 a.m., jail records show.

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