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Police catch man accused of stealing trailer from National Guard member

Brunel Mertis is facing four counts of grand theft

Brunel Mertis is accused of stealing a a trailer from a member of the National Guard.
Brunel Mertis is accused of stealing a a trailer from a member of the National Guard. (ORANGE COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE)

ORANGE COUNTY,Fla. – A 23-year-old Orlando man is accused of stealing a trailer from a member of the National Guard, according to an Orange County arrest affidavit.

Brunel Mertis is facing four counts of grand theft, criminal mischief and, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Police said around 6:30 a.m. on Jan. 14 officers responded to the 2100 block of South Conway Road in reference to a report of a stolen vehicle.

National Guard member Brian Horne told officers his 2018 Dodge Ram pickup was stolen, according to the arrest affidavit.

Police said Horne told officers a trailer was attached to the pickup.

Horne’s red 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle was inside the stolen trailer, Horne told officers.

Investigators said military uniforms, ammunition, and four rifles were also stolen.

The National Guard member was planning to move out of the state on Jan. 14.

Investigators had Horne activate the “On-Star” in his vehicle.

Officers said a U-Connect operator was able to locate the vehicle.

Detectives eventually caught up to the pickup truck at South Orange and Church Street.

Police said the driver was identified as Brunel Mertis.

Investigators said Mertis was carrying gift cards and several sets of keys belonging to Horne.

Horne left the keys in the pickup truck, according to the arrest affidavit.

All of the stolen items were returned to Horne.

Mertis is being held at the Orange County jail.


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