UF ROTC student arrested in burglary at National Guard Armory

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Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Michael Gaines

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A University of Florida student and member of the Army National Guard ROTC program was arrested Sunday in Lake City after police said he burglarized the National Guard Armory.

Police said that about 12:20 a.m. Sunday, Cadet Michael Gaines was wearing a black ski mask and gloves when he burglarized a locked storage room at the armory at 490 N.W. Lake Jeffrey Road. Police said Gaines, 22, was apprehended immediately after the burglary and turned over to police.

Police said a sergeant was sitting in a military unit vehicle when he saw a man run in front of his vehicle wearing a ski mask and gloves. Officers said the sergeant saw Gaines approach the locked storage room and try to break in.

He was not able to get in through the door, so he broke in through the window, police said.

Police said the sergeant contacted his unit commander and another officer, and the three saw Gaines leave the building with a small black bag. They said Gaines then took off the mask and gloves and tucked them under the back of his T-shirt.

Police said the three approached Gaines as he was sitting in his personal vehicle and began asking about what he was doing.

Gaines told them and turned over a M9 bayonet knife and a set of night vision goggles he had removed without permission from the locked storage facility, police said.

Gaines was turned over to the Lake City Police Department and taken into custody. He was transported to the Columbia County Detention Center and booked on $10,000 bail on charges of burglary and grand theft.

Gaines, of Ocala, was in Lake City for regular monthly training at the National Guard Armory.

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