LAKE CITY, Fla. -- The course of events began the evening of December 3rd, according to Lake City Police Department spokesperson Officer Craig Strickland. From 9:30 p.m. to 7:45 the next morning, Strickland said someone burglarized Morse Chiropractic and even sub-rented units in the business.
Strickland said when the office manager came to work on the morning of December 4th, he found the interior of the office vandalized and three other locked office units were sub-leased to other private business owners. Officers responded to that scene to investigate and discovered more $5,000 in computer equipment was stolen.
Two days later, on December 6th, officers went to the Lake City Mall. Two women working the evening shift at The Shoe Department told the store manager they were sexually harassed by two men in the store who police identify as Jeffrey Lewis, 19 and Sean Lewis, 21. The manager approached the two men about their remarks and asked them to leave. The manager said before he called police, one of the men threatened to " ... punch him right in the face."
Officers responded to that scene and were given a description of the two suspects. On patrol of the area, police found the two at a car wash just west of the mall parking lot. Police said Sean Lewis threw down a book bag he was carrying and ran away, but his brother, Jeffrey, was taken into police custody without hassle.
Officers chased Sean Lewis and an officer eventually deployed his Taser, striking Lewis, because Lewis refused to stop for police. Police filed charges with the Florida State Attorney's Office on Jeffrey Lewis and he was released on scene. Sean Lewis was arrested for assault and resisting arrest without violence and was booked into the Columbia County Detention Center on $2,000 bond.
Officers went through the book bag and found several laptops, an iPad and other items that were logged into evidence.
On December 7th, one of the investigating officers met with the Property and Evidence Technician on unrelated matters and noticed that the items being processed were similar to the items reported stolen during the Morse Chiropractic burglary. The serial numbers provided by the victim matched the stolen items.
Officers gathered new details and reviewed information in both cases. Officers determined both Jeffery and his brother Sean were the suspects who broke into Morse Chiropractic and vandalized the business. One of the computers was turned over by the Lewis' sister. Police said she told them her brothers gave it to her as a birthday present.
After this, police placed the Lewis brothers under arrest for burglary to a dwelling, criminal mischief, dealing in stolen property and larceny with $30,000 bond.
As the Lewis brothers were being taken to jail, police said their 16-year-old brother ran after the patrol car. The 16-year-old came running up to the patrol car yelling and cursing at the officer. The officer got out and told the 16-year-old to get out of the middle of the street.
Police said the younger brother took off his shirt, took a fighting stance and told the officer "You have one coming and I will kill you, so watch your back." The 16-year-old ran away and was later found hiding two blocks away behind Beilling's Tire. The 16-year-old was arrested for assault on an officer, threatening a law enforcement officer and resisting without violence.
About the days long investigation and police work, Chief Argatha Gilmore said "I applaud all the officers and investigators involved in this case. The assistance given in locating the two suspects by Trooper Smith provided the officers investigating a call for service at the mall the ability to catch two suspects, recover stolen property and solve a previous crime. The attentiveness of Officer Gunter in linking the property to a previous burglary, showcased our department's goal of 'going beyond the call'."
First Coast News