crime tape

A 32-time convicted felon was arrested Monday by Gainesville Police for allegedly stealing lawn equipment from a church.

Arthur Lee, 48, was charged with two counts of burglary and two counts of grand theft.


Sometime between July 3 and 4, Lee illegally entered a shed belonging to Gainesville Baptist Church at 3570 NW 16th Blvd., according to the arrest report. He allegedly stole numerous lawn care equipment items valued at about $1,700.

On Sunday around 2:05 a.m., he pried two steel plates with Master Locks off the shed door, according to the report. Lee allegedly went into the shed and took a Toro Zero Turn lawn mower, which was valued at about $6,000. Lee was also seen on video surveillance.

Soon after, Lee was driving the lawn mower when he was stopped by officers, according to the report. The mower had not yet been reported stolen, so Lee was let go. The report does not mention where Lee was driving at the time.

A search warrant was done at Lee’s home Monday and a Troy-Bilt pressure washer was recovered, according to the report. The pressure washer was one of the items stolen between July 3 and 4.

After being read his Miranda rights, Lee admitted to stealing the pressure washer and taking the lawn mower, according to the report.

Lee is a suspect in nine other burglaries involving stolen lawn equipment from church storage sheds, according to the report. Lee has 32 felony convictions which include numerous burglary and grand theft convictions.

Lee remains in Alachua County Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bail.

Follow Devoun Cetoute on Twitter @devoun_cetoute and contact him at [email protected].