LAKE CITY, Fla. -- Lake City Police arrested a 22-year-old ROTC cadet after a National Guard member allegedly saw him burglarize the armory.
Shortly after midnight October 14, a member of the National Guard was sitting in a military vehicle at the National Guard Armory located at 490 N.W. Lake Jeffrey Road.
The soldier saw a person wearing a ski mask over their face run in front of the vehicle they were sitting in, in a well-lit area, according to a news release from Lake City Police Department Public Information Officer Craig Strickland.
Strickland said the masked man was also wearing gloves, a white T-shirt and white shorts.
The soldier, who Strickland said was sitting out of view, saw the man approach a locked storage room and attempt to enter it without permission. When he failed to break in through the door, Strickland said he went to window to enter the room.
Once the masked man, later identified as ROTC Cadet Michael Gaines, entered the room, the soldier alerted his unit commander and another unit officer.
Strickland said the three men then saw Gaines leave the room with a small black bag. Gaines was then seen taking off his mask and gloves and place them underneath the back of his shirt.
As Gaines was sitting in his vehicle, the three approached him to ask what he was doing.
The cadet told the three, who were his superiors, what he was doing and gave them a M9 bayonet knife and a set of night vision goggles. Strickland said Gaines removed the items without permission from the locked storage facility.
The three soldiers turned Gaines over to the Lake City Police Department, who took custody of him and transported him to the Columbia County Detention Center where he was booked on $10,000 bond. Gaines is charged with burglary and grand theft.
Cadet Michael Gaines is a student at the University of Florida and a member of the Army National Guard ROTC program. Strickland said Gaines was in Lake City for monthly training at the Armory.
First Coast News