Deon Maurice Griffin Jr.

Deon Maurice Griffin Jr.

A Michigan man who came to Florida to party with relatives in Tampa for the Super Bowl did a little dealing in stolen property during his visit, according to a Citrus County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested Deon Maurice Griffin, 31, of Detroit, Michigan, after law enforcement notified local deputies that Griffin rented a skid steer from a Spring Hill Home Depot. A skid steer is a heavy piece of steel equipment used to lift wooden pallets loaded with shipped materials.

The Hernando County deputies told Citrus County law enforcement that the equipment was rented Monday, Feb. 8, and was supposed to be returned the same day, according to Griffin’s arrest report. The equipment was not returned, but instead Hernando investigators found the equipment advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace.

The Hernando County deputies said the stolen equipment had a tracking device which last reported the equipment being at 11034 W. Halls River Road in Homosassa, according to the arrest report.

On Feb. 9, the Citrus County deputy went to the address and Griffin answered the door. He told the deputy that he rented the piece of equipment the day before and did not return it but was planning to return it one day late. The equipment was on a trailer in the front yard of the Homosassa house.

About that time, another man arrived at the home, according to Griffin’s arrest report. The man told the deputy that he was there to buy the trailer and showed the deputy Facebook messages between the two men about buying the equipment for $11,000. The original asking price was $14,000, according to the arrest report.

That was when Hernando County detectives also arrived and explained that Home Depot notified them about the theft and that the store reported that someone had tried to remove or turn off the GPS device attached to the equipment.

The arresting deputy reported that when he asked Griffin about the Facebook add, Griffin explained that soon after renting the equipment another man wanted to use it and that he gave the third man his Facebook login information and that this third man was probably trying to sell it, according to the arrest report.

The arresting deputy also reported that Griffin changed his story over the course of the conversation, according to the report. The deputy also asked to look at Griffin’s phone and for Griffin to unlock it but Griffin refused.

The deputy arrested Griffin and charged him with dealing in stolen property with a bond of $5,000.   

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.