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The Villages
Sunday, April 14, 2024

Thirsty burglar sentenced after breaking into Red Lobster for drink

Ronald Eric Johnson
Ronald Eric Johnson

A thirsty burglary who broke into Red Lobster for a drink has been released after serving more than six months in jail.

Ronald Eric Johnson, 36, of Summerfield was released earlier this month from the Sumter County Detention Center where he had been lodged since June 20. He appeared in Sumter County Court this month and was sentenced to time served and placed on probation for 34 months.

Johnson set off the burglar alarm at about 2 a.m. June 20 at the seafood restaurant at Buffalo Ridge Plaza in The Villages.

When a Sumter County sheriff’s deputy arrived at the restaurant, he found Johnson seated in an Adirondack chair, positioned to the left of the main entrance to the restaurant. Johnson, who was arrested in 2022 at the Holiday Inn Express in The Villages, had a cup that apparently came from the bar area of the restaurant. He said he was hoping to get something to eat and drink. He claimed he pulled on the front door and it opened up.

A representative of Red Lobster arrived on the scene and said the restaurant had been securely locked at closing. The representative estimated it would cost $1,500 to replace the damaged front door lock mechanism.

Johnson had also been arrested in 2021 after stealing a shopping cart from a Dollar General store.

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