Sarasota Man Arrested for Stealing Weapons

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-153

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office arrested a Sarasota man after he broke into a business and stole more than $10,000 in rifles and shotguns.

Deputies responded last Friday around midnight, to the 6300 block of Porter Road in Sarasota, for a burglary alarm at a business. When they arrived, the business was secure and there were no signs of forced entry. On Saturday, the owner discovered that 10 rifles and shotguns had been stolen from a secure storage area that few people, including a cleaning crew, had access to. When the victim contacted the cleaning company, he learned that one of their employees had left keys to the storage area with her boyfriend, Justin McFarling, DOB 01/26/92, who would often accompany her to clean the business. McFarling was familiar with the weapons because they were kept in the same area as the cleaning supplies.

Upon further investigation, detectives located two of the stolen guns at a pawn shop in Manatee County and learned that McFarling sold the weapons using his driver's license for identification. Records from McFarling's probationary electronic monitoring device also showed he was away from his residence during the time the burglary occurred. Detectives also located a weapon pawned back in May by McFarling's girlfriend.

McFarling, of 2025 4th Street, admitted to burglarizing the business and told detectives where the remaining stolen guns were. Detectives charged him with Armed Burglary and Theft of a Firearm. He is currently being held at the Sarasota County Jail on $21,500 bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are pending.
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