Below is a news release from the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office.
PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. - A Rotonda man was arrested on multiple charges including possession of drugs Thursday after he allegedly used a debit card reported stolen in a vehicle burglary.
On Tuesday September 17, a Port Charlotte man reported that someone entered his unlocked vehicle parked in his driveway during that day and took his debit card, check book and other personal property. The victim told deputies that his debit card had been successfully used twice at local gas stations.
Detectives assigned to the case obtained video surveillance from the gas stations that showed both a man and a vehicle allegedly involved in the use of the debit card. Detectives issued a “be on the lookout” notice for the vehicle, a black Ford Expedition.
On Thursday at about 1:30, a detective supervisor spotted a black Ford Expedition at School House Square in Charlotte Harbor. He followed the vehicle until he could get a tag number, which matched that of the Ford being sought. After calling for other units, he stopped the Expedition. He noticed that the driver looked in his rear view mirror, looked over at his passenger and put both of this hands out his window.
When the driver, Michael Joseph Lambert, 33, of 22 Donlon Drive in Rotonda West, got out of the vehicle, detectives found that his Alabama driver’s license had been suspended. The detective assigned the vehicle burglary case recognized him as the person from the surveillance photos as the person who allegedly used the debit card. Lambert was placed under arrest on the driver’s license charge.
As detectives were speaking with the vehicle’s passenger, a box fell to the ground. The box contained two plastic baggies with a clear rock-like substance that tested positive for Methamphetamine. Lambert allegedly gave the box to the passenger when they were being stopped.
When detectives began to inventory the Expedition as a result of Lambert’s arrest, they found the victim’s debit card inside. They stopped their inventory and took the vehicle into custody to obtain a search warrant.
Detectives charged Lambert with Criminal Use of Personal Identification, Petit Theft, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Driving on a Suspended Driver’s License. He was being held without bond at the Charlotte County Jail.