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OCALA, FL – On Thursday, September 30, 2021, Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) Property Crimes Detectives arrested Ja’mori Stephen Javon Smith, 21, of Ocala, for seven counts of grand theft of a motor vehicle, six counts of using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony, one count of illegal interception of a communication, one count of fleeing and eluding, and one count of possession of cocaine with intent to sell.
According to detectives, between August 13, 2021 and September 27, 2021, multiple MCSO deputies were dispatched to reports of motor vehicle thefts involving ATVs and dirt bikes. In each case, the victim provided a consistent description of the suspect, his means of stealing the vehicles, and location of the sale. During the investigation, detectives learned the suspect would find victims selling vehicles using OfferUp, Facebook Marketplace, or Craigslist. The suspect would then contact the victims to arrange a meeting to buy their vehicle and request a test drive. While conducting the test drive, the suspect would then flee on the stolen vehicle. Through investigation, detectives were able to develop Ja’mori Smith as a possible suspect in the cases. A photo lineup was conducted with each victim and they all identified Smith as the one who stole their vehicles. On September 29, 2021, warrants were obtained for Smith’s arrest.
On September 30, 2021, Smith was located driving a vehicle and attempted to conduct a traffic stop to place him under arrest for the charges listed in the warrants. Smith fled, ultimately drove into a ditch in front of his home, and then attempted to run inside. Before he could make it inside, Smith surrendered and was arrested without incident. A search of Smith’s vehicle revealed he was in possession of 50-60 baggies of cocaine and a scale.
Smith was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail. While he was in custody, Smith was also arrested by the Ocala Police Department for grand theft of a motor vehicle and using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.
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In February 2021, Smith was released from state prison after serving a twenty-four month sentence for stealing cellular phones from victims using the same methods he used to steal the ATVs and dirt bikes.