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Friday, December 8, 2023

Police hunt down Leesburg man in stolen car

Robert Wayne Williams
Robert Wayne Williams

A Leesburg man was arrested for stealing a vehicle after a victim of his trespassing helped police track him down.

Police responded to the victim of trespass on Spring Road in Fruitland Park around 3:37 p.m. on Thursday, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Robert Wayne Williams, 48, had returned to the victim’s property after being banned from it in December 2022. The victim spotted Williams around 3:30 p.m. driving a silver vehicle, which she believed to be a Mitsubishi. She chased the vehicle to the edge of her property and confronted Williams and the passenger, the report said.

Williams denied having trespassed, but the victim stated he had been banned from her property in 2022. The passenger then gave the victim his first name, phone number and area of residence. The victim took that information and the vehicle’s tag number and shared them with police, the report said.

Police were able to identify the tag as attached to a 2001 silver Cadillac Catera that was reported stolen on Wednesday, the report said. They were also able to track down the passenger’s exact residence off Wilmington Road in Fruitland Park. An officer advised the victim he was going to find Williams and the passenger as she filled out an affidavit.

As the officer drove toward Wilmington Road, he noticed a silver sedan approaching a stop sign. The vehicle was being driven by Williams and the passenger from the victim’s statement. Once the vehicle passed the officer, he could read the tag attached to the vehicle. It matched the tag number provided by the victim, the report said.

The report stated officers stopped the vehicle at the intersection of Wilmington Road and Edgewood Drive. Williams was placed under arrest at 5:09 p.m.

Upon learning that he was going to be taken to the Lake County Jail, Williams stated he was having medical issues and was transported to UF Health-Leesburg Hospital. He was charged with grand theft auto and trespass after a warning. Bond was set at $6,000.

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