Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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The Villages

Man arrested at Lake Sumter Landing with golf cart he had been forbidden to drive

Michael Schmidt-Bell

A man was arrested at Lake Sumter Landing when he was found to have a golf cart he had been forbidden to drive.

Michael Schmidt-Bell, 22, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was spotted at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday walking in the parking lot of the Waterfront Inn when he was spotted by deputies investigating a report of a golf cart that had not been returned to its owner, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

The golf cart’s owner had contacted the sheriff’s office at about 6 p.m. Friday to report that the golf cart had been stolen. The owner told Schmidt-Bell he could no longer use the golf cart, but he left in it Friday morning. He did not return calls asking him to return it.

When confronted by deputies, Schmidt-Bell initially claimed he had returned the golf cart to its owner. He then changed his story and said he was planning to return the golf cart after he finished his shift at Cody’s Original Roadhouse. Deputies contacted Cody’s management and learned that Schmidt-Bell had been fired at 5:20 p.m. Friday. Schmidt-Bell then pointed to where the golf cart was parked. He was found to be in possession of the golf cart key, a garage door opener and a Villages gate card.

He was arrested on a felony charge of grand theft of a motor vehicle. He was booked at the Sumter County Detention Center and released after posting $2,000 bond.

In 2018, the Cincinnati Police Department issued an alert for Schmidt-Bell describing him as someone with “violent tendencies.” He was said to be armed with at least three knives. The alert indicated he suffered from bipolar disorder.

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