Florida man arrested for burglarizing cars in jail parking lot moments after being released

Michael Lewis had just been released after being arrested on grand theft charges when he allegedly began stealing from cars in the jail parking lot.

A man was arrested in Florida for allegedly breaking into cars in the jail parking lot moments after he was released, according to police.

Michael Casey Lewis, 37, was originally arrested on charges of grand theft Thursday morning, the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

Lewis had just bonded out of county jail and been released Thursday when deputies said they spotted him behaving suspiciously.

“After being released, deputies in the parking lot of the jail observed Lewis pulling car door handles and learned he had just burglarized several cars right there at the jail,” the statement said.

Michael Casey Lewis
Michael Casey Lewis

Surveillance video captured Lewis briefly getting into a silver vehicle and then walking around the rest of the parking lot looking into cars and checking to see whether they were unlocked, according to his arrest affidavit.

One officer approached Lewis, who said he was "waiting for his girlfriend" to pick him up, the affidavit said. The officer noticed he had cigarettes and cash, which is unusual for someone who's just been released from jail.

Another officer confronted Lewis after seeing the surveillance video, and the suspect handed him a brown paper bag he'd taken from a car filled with cigarettes, a debit card, a Florida driver's license and $547 in cash, police said. Lewis had also taken an iPhone 7 worth approximately $1,000, according to the owner who told police she'd accidentally left her car unlocked.

Lewis was then “rebooked” at the jail on additional burglary charges and released again with a bond of $11,250.

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Contributing: Will Greenlee, Treasure Coast Newspapers

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Florida man arrested for burglarizing cars in jail parking lot moments after being released