Indiana grand theft fugitives arrested in Lake City

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Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photos of Daniel Wimmer and Rhonda Lee Russell-Smith

LAKE CITY, Fla. - A tip to Lake City police Sunday morning led officers to a man and woman with warrants out of Indiana.

Police said Daniel Wimmer, 35, and Rhonda Lee Russell-Smith, 47, were arrested at a Lake City hotel where they were staying.

Officers went to the Gateway Inn in the 3700 block of Northwest U.S. Highway 90 about 8:30 a.m. after someone with knowledge of the two fugitives and their current location called and provided officers with the location, names, vehicle and physical descriptions and the active charges of the two inside.

Police said Wimmer originally gave his name as "Mr. William S. Russell" and provided two different date of births. However, his Indiana ID was later found in the room. Lee Russell-Smith gave her real name and provided officers with her current Indiana license, police said.

Active warrants for grand theft from Indiana came back for both. Police said the warrants were confirmed, as well as extradition with the Clarksville Police Department in Indiana, and both were arrested.

Police said the U-Haul van the two were traveling in was found to be stolen out of Tennessee last month.

Police said that in November, both were invited to stay with someone, and after staying several weeks, they left and took more than $100,000 worth of rare coins, cash and jewelry. Over the course of the next three months, they used the money to fund their life on the run from Indiana to Delaware, Delaware to Nashville, and ending up for a one-night stay in Lake City, police said.

Both were booked into the Columbia County Detention Center with bail set at $65,000.

Once the preliminary court proceedings are handled in Columbia County, the two suspects will be extradited to Indiana on their grand theft charges, police said.

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