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Thursday, July 7, 2022

Oft-arrested man accused of passing bogus bill at Papa John’s

Brandon Dennis Fritzke
Brandon Dennis Fritzke

A Lady Lake man with numerous prior arrests in Lake and Sumter counties is accused of passing a phony $100 bill at Papa John’s in Mount Dora.

Earlier this month, a man walked into the Papa John’s store, located at 16894 U.S. Hwy. 441, and ordered two large pizzas and a cookie totaling $36. The man paid with a $100 bill and received $64 in change, according to the Mount Dora Police Department report.

While the food was being prepared, the man went to the Ross store next door. While he was gone, a Papa John’s employee realized the bill was counterfeit. When the man came back for his food while carrying his Ross purchases, the employer told him the $100 bill was fake and asked for a different form of payment. The man said he would have to return his purchases at Ross to get the cash back. He walked out the door and never returned, the report said.

As a result, Papa John’s suffered a $100 loss as the food could not be sold to anyone else. A police officer collected a security photo of the man and the fake bill. The photo of the suspect was shared on the police department’s social media pages and he was identified as 39-year-old Brandon Dennis Fritzke.

Fritzke was arrested Friday and charged with uttering forged instruments. He’s no stranger to law enforcement, as jail records in Lake and Sumter counties show 10 prior arrests.

In August 2021, Fritzke was charged with stealing from a landscaper. In July 2021, he was arrested after being caught on camera stealing a leafblower from a home in Grand Island.

In February 2020, Fritzke was arrested after he tried to “repossess” a golf cart in The Villages. He ended up being sentenced to nearly a year in jail for that crime. In April 2019, Fritzke was arrested with drugs and a stolen Michigan license plate. Finally, in November 2018, he was arrested after he was caught back behind the wheel of a car after seven previous license suspensions.

After his latest arrest, Fritzke was taken to the Lake County Jail, where he was released Friday night on $5,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in Lake County Court on June 13.

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