Minneola Man Captured on Video Stealing from Several Downtown Clermont Businesses

CLERMONT, Florida—A Minneola man is behind bars after video surveillance captured him stealing from several businesses at the Montrose Street Market early Monday.

Clermont Police responded to 793 West Montrose Street after the victim reported his security cameras caught a man, later identified as Michael Jacob Mathis, 21, entering the business around 2:30 a.m. through a door that was accidentally left unlocked by a cleaner, according to an arrest affidavit.

Mathis, wearing a white hoodie and dark pants, did not cover his face or wear gloves as he made his way through the market, which houses several vendors. He stole multiple items, including two iPhones, one from Design Sushi and a second one from Brave Burger; he also stole a tip jar from Brave Burger that contained approximately $10. He stole 50 cents from The Tasty Crepes and dropped a soda can, he then grabbed a drink and a tip jar that contained $70 from Pico Bistro, the affidavit states.

The video also showed Mathis wearing “very noticeable” tan work boots and carrying a black bag with a red stripe during his crime spree.

Later the same day, the complainant’s assistant reported seeing Mathis walking down Lake Minneola Shores Road in Minneola wearing the same boots and carrying the same bag, according to the affidavit. Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies stopped Mathis and upon running his name, they found he had a Marion County warrant for failure to appear for petit theft.

Mathis was searched and he was found with a small bag of methamphetamine, a glass pipe with residue, a cut straw and several small baggies that contained residue; he also had a small bag of marijuana, according to the affidavit.

Mathis denied being in the market but was found with the phone the belonged to Design Sushi and $72 in small denominations that would be consistent with cash in a tip jar. Mathis was arrested for burglary, four counts of petit theft, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. His bond on those charges is $18,000 but he is being held on a detainer for the Marion County warrant.

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