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The Villages
Thursday, May 6, 2021

Fleeing man nabbed with burglary tools and ski mask in Fruitland Park

Jacob Allen Franklin

A Eustis man was arrested Friday morning on multiple charges after allegedly fleeing from a Lake County sheriff’s deputy in Fruitland Park.

Master Dep. Joe Brocato was patrolling the area of Lake Unity Nursery Road and Eagles Nest Road in the Fruitland Park/Lady Lake area due to recent vehicle burglaries. A white Jeep Cherokee Laredo with a Tennessee license tag drove past him twice, the second time “blowing smoke and attempting to speed away,” a sheriff’s office report states.

A short time later, the driver, later identified as 38-year-old Jacob Allen Franklin, drove across a yard and jumped out of the SUV, leaving it in reverse. He then realized he had made a “grave mistake” by running on a dead-end road that ended at a lake. Deputies and officers from the Fruitland Park Police Department then quickly apprehended Franklin, the report says.

Jacob Allen Franklin, 38, was taken into custody Friday morning in Fruitland Park. Lake County sheriff’s deputies searched the vehicle he was driving, a white Jeep Cherokee Laredo, and found burglary tools, a black ski mask with a skull printed on it and a methamphetamine pipe, a sheriff’s office report states.

As the investigation continued, Brocato located a black ski mask with a white scull printed on it and a Grand Master lock pick set inside the vehicle. Franklin’s license was suspended and he had been deemed a habitual traffic offender by a judge. And the SUV he was driving wasn’t registered and the Tennessee tag didn’t belong on the vehicle, the report says.

Franklin, who lives at 36751 Cotoye Pass in Eustis, was placed under arrest and transported to the Lake County Jail, where he was charged with driving while license suspended (habitual offender), no motor vehicle registration, possession of burglary tools, possession of drug paraphernalia (methamphetamine pipe) and resisting an officer without violence. He was being held on $9,000 bond and is due in court Nov. 30 at 8:30 a.m. to answer to the charges, jail records show.

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