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Convicted sex offender steals $14,000 motorcycle and tries selling it to brother

A sex offender residing in Fruitland Park was arrested for stealing a bike and a motorcycle that he then tried selling to his brother.

Justin Lee Freeman
Justin Lee Freeman

A deputy responded to a stolen vehicle incident, later found to involve 34-year-old Justin Lee Freeman, at an undisclosed Fruitland Park residence around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday, according to an arrest report from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office. 

Upon arrival, the deputy met with a male victim who advised that he noticed his motorcycle was missing when he got home from work. The last time he saw the motorcycle was the previous afternoon. He believed it was stolen in the night or early morning hours, the report said. 

The victim explained that the motorcycle was valued at $14,000. He described it as a 2024 Yamaha Tenere 700, blue in color with silver paint and blue rims. It was later discovered that a light blue bicycle with a brown basket and tan tires belonging to the victim’s wife was also missing from the property, the report said. 

The report noted that while the deputy spoke to the victim, another deputy was able to find the motorcycle close to Freeman’s residence at the dead-end of Lake Josephine Drive. The victim was picked up by his wife who followed the deputy to the motorcycle location. While on the way to the recovery location, the wife spotted her bicycle that she believed was taken during the same time as her husband’s motorcycle at an address of 35318 Lake Josephine Drive. 

The wife advised that she was familiar with the children standing in the roadway in front of the residence, as she taught at the school they attended. She spoke to them through the window of her vehicle, at which time they advised that the dad of one of the children in the area brought the bike to the residence in the late hours of the night. The deputy did indeed observe a light blue bicycle propped against a fence on Freeman’s property next to the shed where he normally slept, the report said. 

Furthermore, LCSO deputies responded to the address of 35318 Lake Josephine Drive around 7:30 that morning regarding a suspicious incident. The Lake County Communications Center received a call from Freeman’s brother who advised that Freeman tried entering the residence stating that he wanted to sell his brother a motor bike that he pushed into the backyard shortly after returning to his shed, the report said. 

The brother advised that after waking up, he found a motorcycle in his backyard that he was not familiar with. He believed it to be stolen. While on scene, deputies checked the motorcycle’s tag which revealed it was not stolen at the time, the report said. 

The deputy then responded to the address to ask about this earlier incident. He talked to the brother who reiterated that Freeman tried to get into his residence around 2:30 a.m. while making statements about having a motor bike for sale. He came to door stating he had “a dirt bike for sale,” the report said. 

The brother advised that he observed a light blue bicycle propped up on the fence at the front of the property outside of the shed where Freeman usually slept. The brother woke up around 7 a.m. and looked out his back window to see a motorcycle that was blue and black in color. When deputies arrived on scene, they advised it was not stolen, the report said. 

After deputies left, the brother went to Freeman and told him that “he had to get the stolen dirt bike out of the yard.” Freeman pushed the bike northbound on Lake Josephine Drive and returned around 15 minutes later without it, the report said. 

Additionally, the brother explained that he only let Freeman sleep in the shed as a courtesy. He was not allowed within the residence on the property itself unattended. Due to this, Freeman had taken up the backyard of the property and was the only person who normally occupied it, the report said. 

The report noted that when the brother told Freeman “to remove the stolen bike from the yard,” there were multiple bikes on the property. Yet, he only removed the bike in question. This was the same motor bike that Freeman told his brother that he wanted to sell. Freeman knew that the motorbike was not his but still tried to sell it to his brother. It was also originally found by the brother near the shed where Freeman slept. 

The motorcycle and bicycle were both recovered and returned to the rightful owners, the victim and his wife, the report said. 

On Thursday around 12:46 a.m., the deputy responded to 35318 Lake Josephine Drive trying to contact Freeman for the grand theft of the motor bike and attempting to sell it to his brother. Prior to the deputy’s arrival, contact was made with his brother, the property owner, who granted deputies access to his property along with the shed he observed Freeman in just prior to the deputy’s arrival, the report said. 

Upon approaching the shed in the backyard, loud music could be heard coming from it indicating someone was inside. Deputies knocked multiple times and announced their presence, after which the music was turned off and no noise could be heard from within the shed. A K-9 unit then arrived and searched the shed, yielding positive results and assisting in apprehending Freeman, the report said. 

Freeman was taken into custody and transported to the Leesburg Regional Hospital to be treated for injuries obtained on scene. Upon being cleared by hospital staff, Freeman was ultimately taken to Lake County Jail without incident, the report said. 

A query of his criminal history was generated, revealing two previous convictions for theft related charges, the report said. He was also convicted in Feb. 2019 for lewd or lascivious exhibition in the presence of elderly/disabled person and in Aug. 2020 for failure to comply with registration. 

Freeman was charged with grand theft auto, dealing in stolen property, resisting without violence and petit theft (second or subsequent offense). Bond was set at $9,500. 

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