Eustis Police Saturate Areas Targeted in Vehicle Burglaries, Arrest 3 Suspects, on the Hunt for More

EUSTIS, Florida—In response to an uptick in vehicle burglaries over the last several weeks, Eustis Police Department saturated the targeted areas of the city with officers over the last week and busted three burglars and they are on the hunt for a fourth, EPD Capt. Jon Fahning told Inside Lake Friday afternoon.

Numerous neighborhoods in both EPD jurisdiction and Lake County Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction in Grand Island have been hit with thieves, in addition to several neighborhoods in the city, including, but not limited to, Blue Lake Estates, Misty Oaks, Summer Glen, Brookshire, Horizon Oaks and Hillcrest over the past few weeks, Fahning said. “It’s not uncommon for the summertime,” he said.

Officers with the road patrol division and detectives with the criminal investigations division worked together to saturate areas and identify the suspects who have been captured on numerous home surveillance systems, checking for unlocked vehicle doors. Many items were taken, from dozens of vehicles, including cash and at least four guns, Fahning said. One stolen gun has been recovered.

There are several groups of thieves working the same areas and EPD does not believe the groups are connected, according to Fahning. Of the smaller groups, they believe they have arrested some of the people in two of the groups, and they are investigating a third. “There is at least one more group we are working on taking care of,” he said. `

Three of the suspected thieves were apprehended this week. On Thursday, officers responded to Brookshire on a report of suspects pulling door handles. The suspects fled upon the officers’ arrival but were apprehended after a short foot chase and identified as Casey C. Johnson, 19, of Leesburg and Matthew Nathaniel Hanners, 18, of Eustis. Detectives are working on a warrant for a third male and are not releasing his identity until he is in custody.

Johnson was arrested for a litany of charges, including, armed burglary to a conveyance, possession of a concealed firearm, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony, possession of burglary tools, false name to law enforcement, and resisting arrest. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $33,000 bond. Hanners was arrested for principal to armed burglary, burglary and resisting arrest; he is being held at LCJ on $21,000 bond. Additional charges for both suspects are possible, Fahning said.

J’quarius Sceal, 22, was arrested Friday on several charges in connection with recent vehicle burglaries in Eustis.

On Friday, another suspect was captured when officers responded to a report of a man acting erratically with a gun on Gould Street. J’quarius Sceal, 22, of Eustis, was found with a gun stolen from a vehicle in the Hillcrest neighborhood. Sceal is suspected of more burglaries in the city, Fahning said, and more charges are pending. Sceal was arrested for grand theft of a firearm, armed burglary, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a concealed weapon and improper exhibition of a firearm. He is being held at LCJ on $41,000 bond.

EPD wants to catch all the thieves but needs the public to be more vigilant and helpful. Many victims are not reporting the crimes at all and Fahning believes there are more surveillance videos that have not been sent to the police. “Calling us immediately is very beneficial,” he said. “Some (victims) just don’t call at all and that’s a problem. We need help.” If you have information or videos related to these burglaries, call EPD at 352-357-4121.

Scroll to Top