Florida man accused of burglarizing Waffle House patron's truck while they ate inside restaurant

Anthony Arenas was arrested and charged with burglary, grand theft and two counts of petit theft. (Photo: Marion County Jail)

A Florida man has found himself behind bars after he allegedly helped burglarize a pickup truck parked outside Waffle House. 

Anthony Arenas, 40, was arrested and charged with grand theft, two counts of petit theft and burglary after the incident that unfolded at the restaurant on SW Highway 484 in Ocala on May 19, according to an arrest affidavit from the Marion County Sheriff's Office. 

On that day, three people said they all had items stolen from one of their trucks, a white Ford F-150, that was parked outside while they were eating, the affidavit said.

"[A victim] stated they entered the Waffle House and did not see anything out of the ordinary, until they returned to the truck to leave after eating. [Another victim] informed [the deputy] as they were about to pull away, he noticed his yellow DEWALT fan was missing from the bed of the truck, at which time all the victims searched and noticed they each had multiple items missing," the affidavit said. 

One of them went inside to tell the Waffle House manager, who said he can grab the surveillance video of the alleged theft and to contact law enforcement. 

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Nearly $2,000 worth of items were stolen from the bed of the truck, according to the arrest report. 

Deputies reviewed surveillance video from Waffle House that showed two men, one of whom is identified as Arenas, grabbing items from the bed of the pickup truck and placing them into their own vehicle, the affidavit said. The identity of the second suspect was redacted from the arrest report, but he's described as a "thin white male."

The suspect vehicle was traced back to Arenas, deputies said. Traffic cams also confirmed the vehicle was in the area of the Waffle House on the day of the alleged theft. 

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Arenas was arrested in Sumter County the next day on the following unrelated charges, according to the arrest report: trespassing, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug equipment. He was released the next day, arrest records show. 

Marion County deputies confirmed this was the same Arenas involved in the alleged Waffle House theft and eventually made a visit to his house in Belleview to take him into custody, the affidavit said. 

In a post-Miranda interview with deputies, Arenas admitted to being with the second suspect who stole property from the victim's vehicle parked next to his, and allowed him to put stolen items in his vehicle. He also told deputies that he drove the suspect with the stolen property, the affidavit said. 

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The suspect "got rid of" the stolen property to a separate, unnamed person, Arenas told deputies. 

"[Arenas] also admitted he was aware when he assisted [the other suspect] he was in the wrong," the affidavit said. 

He remains in custody in the Marion County Jail without bond, arrest records show.