Florida man back behind bars after breaking into car soon after release, authorities say

Just when he thought he was out, they pulled him back in.

A Florida man released from jail in Fort Pierce this week was arrested just minutes later for stealing from a car in the prison parking lot, authorities said.

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Michael Casey Lewis, 34, had just bonded out of the St. Lucie County Jail for grand theft when officers saw him “acting suspicious” and pulling car-door handles, according to an arrest affidavit by the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.

Lewis claimed to be “waiting for his girlfriend” to pick him up, but security footage showed him checking several cars before finally breaking into one, the affidavit stated.

Deputy Neill Lettman reported that he confronted and questioned Lewis, who eventually handed him “a brown paper bag” with items stolen from the car: an iPhone 7 valued at $1,000; four packs of cigarettes; a lighter; a debit card and driver’s license; and $547 in cash.

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“I placed Lewis in handcuffs and escorted him to our booking intake area,” Lettman reported in the affidavit.

Lewis was arrested and booked back into jail on more burglary charges before being released a second time on an $11,250 bond; he didn’t get booked a third time.