Retired GPD Officer
"We should look out for each others neighbors."
That's the sentiment retired Gainesville Police Officer James Samec practiced on Wednesday.
It all started with his wife.
"She saw a suspicious person across the street at my neighbor's house. She called me and explained that to me, and said you might want to check him out."
Samec immediately noticed something different at this house directly across the street.
"Saw a motorcycle parked in my other neighbors, which is suspicious because i know they're not home."
Then Samec looked at a different neighbor's home and saw a man near the garage carrying a lawn trimmer.
"So I saw him and directly opposite of my house I approached him. He said I'm over at your neighbor the Johnson's and I'm doing some repair work."
Only problem is... the Johnsons don't live there, the Lewis family does.
As Samec questioned the man, he began to back away.
"And then he started backing off towards his motorcycle, so I walked to the back of it because he had it facing outward, and started trying to memorize his tag."
The stranger left Samec with one final message.
"He left the neighborhood at a high speed, and as he left he turned to me and said "I'll be back""
They would certainly meet again, just not here.
GPD quickly tracked down the motorcycle and took the man, 49-year old Troy Dillard, into custody. Samec quickly confirmed that they had the correct man in custody.
Samec's neighbor, Kelly Lewis, didn't know she had been robbed until police called her.
"about 15 minutes after i got home, the police called and said they caught the person who was in our garage, and i didn't even know someone was in there," said Lewis.
Lewis is thankful for Samec, and hopes the rest of the community would respond in the same way.
"I think they should keep their eyes peeled and help their neighbors out, and look out like Jim did for us."
He may be retired, but he's not finished solving crimes just yet.
Mike Gismondi, TV20 News.
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