2 Ocala men arrested in motorcycle theft

Deputies said they stole the motorcycle from a gas station parking lot.

Published: Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 7:46 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, October 30, 2011 at 7:46 p.m.

ORANGE SPRINGS — Two Ocala men were arrested Saturday night and charged with grand theft auto after Marion County deputies found them with a motorcycle that reportedly had been stolen.

Mathew Allen Coull, 30, of Northwest First Street, and Zachary A. Cunningham, 22, of Southwest 12th Street, were taken to the Marion County Jail. Both bonded out of jail on Sunday, each on $2,000 bond.

According to Sheriff's Office reports, Brandon Castleberry, 20, of Citra, told Deputy Paxton Sapp on Saturday night that he had left his red 1996 Suzuki 600 motorcycle with a sticker of a deer head on the fuel tank in the parking lot of the Kangaroo gas station in Orange Springs the day before and was going to pick it up, but it was missing. A store clerk told deputies she had seen two younger white men get out of a truck that was pulling a trailer and start loading the motorcycle into the back of the truck. Because she was helping customers, she did not see in which direction they left.

In the meantime, Deputy Gerald Boatwright was in the area of Northeast 35th Street and Baseline Road when he noticed a truck with a trailer in a store parking lot and a red Suzuki motorcycle in the back of the truck, matching the description of the missing motorcycle.

Boatwright noticed the deer head sticker on the fuel tank and stopped the truck in the 3200 block of North County Road 35. Melissa Riggs, who was sitting in the back seat, told deputies that they were at the store when an old man, who was drunk, flagged them down and told them that he had wrecked his bike and asked them to transport the bike to Ocala for him. She said she wrote their phone number down for the older man so he could call them the following day to tell them where to bring the bike. She said the old man helped load the bike into the truck.

But, when questioned, the store clerk told deputies that only two people loaded the bike onto the truck.

When questioned again, Riggs said that Coull and Cunningham told her earlier in the day that they had seen the bike at the store. She reportedly said she told them to take the bike out of her truck. She also told deputies that Coull told her that, if they were caught, that he was going to blame it on her.

Coull and Cunningham subsequently were arrested, and Castleberry was able to claim his motorcycle, which was valued at $2,800.

Contact Susan Latham Carr at 867-4156 or susan.carr@starbanner.com.

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