On Thursday afternoon, July 19, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detectives arrested a Fort White man for two armed robberies he committed during the last week of June.
Michael Lanter, 41 was arrested at his home, 6165 SW CR 18 in Fort White after Detectives served a search warrant on the residence and recovered evidence of the crimes.
The investigation began on June 27 at 9:34 PM, when the Subway Restaurant in Fort White was robbed. The robbery was captured on video; however the suspect wore a mask and completely covered himself making identification extremely difficult. The suspect was seen leaving in a dark gray mid-sized SUV believed to be a Chevrolet Equinox.
Two days later, another robbery occurred at 2:23 pm at the Dollar General at 4549 SW SR 47. This robbery was captured on video as well; the suspect appeared to be the same person and was seen leaving in the gray SUV.
Detectives reviewed and compared both videos and determined that the gray SUV was a 2010-2015 Chevrolet Equinox. Detectives used the DHSMV database to locate owners of gray Chevrolet Equinoxes in Columbia County. Detectives identified Lanter as an owner of such a vehicle and noted he lived close to the Subway in Fort White. Lanter also matched the physical size of the robber seen on video.
As the investigation continued, Detectives discovered Lanter pawned a pistol soon after the last robbery matching the description of the gun used in both robberies. With this and other evidence, detectives secured the search warrant.
“This is a great example of why I’m so proud of the men and women of the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.” Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “With very little to go on, the Detectives ran down every lead to solve this case and kept our community safe by taking an extremely dangerous man off the streets of our county.”