A Belk shopper hunted down a suspected thief who tried to steal a catalytic converter from her truck which was parked in the store’s parking lot in Leesburg.
The woman had been shopping Wednesday when she left the store, went to the parking lot and found a man under the passenger side of her truck. She yelled at the man to get out from under the vehicle. As he crawled out, she saw him holding a blue reciprocating saw. She called 911 as the man got into an old white Chevrolet that had formerly been a police car which looked familiar to the woman. He drove away before Leesburg police arrived on the scene.
The victim called her boyfriend and described the suspect’s car. She told the police that her boyfriend was a mechanic and that he thought the vehicle belonged to 23-year-old Garrett Heiserman. She also went on Facebook and found an account for Heiserman which she shared with police.
The woman saw the suspect’s car Thursday evening at the Microtel hotel on U.S. Hwy. 441. When officers responded to that location they were able to detain Heiserman. A search of the suspect’s car turned up a blue reciprocating saw. Heiserman’s girlfriend, who was staying at the hotel, consented to a search of her room where the officers recovered methamphetamine and a digital scale which Heiserman admitted belonged to him. He also admitted to attempting to steal the catalytic converter and oxygen detector from the victim’s vehicle.
Heiserman was arrested on charges of grand theft of auto parts, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was booked at the Lake County Jail with bond set at $5,500.