Jeremy Charles Dewitte was born on February 10, 1980 in Port Ritchie, Florida. At the age of 18 he lived in Orlando, Florida. This is also where he was arrested for the very first time.
At 7:35 AM May 18, 1998, just three months after Jeremy’s 18th birthday, a blue 1990 Dodge Shadow pulled into a Mobil gas station at 1000 West Colonial Drive, one of Orlando’s busiest streets.
The cashier, Krissandra, noticed the blue Dodge with a large blue light in the dashboard. She also noticed the driver of the car was having difficulties pumping his gas. The driver was wearing jeans and boots and a gold badge on his belt. She believed he was a police officer and activated the pump for the driver. Fourteen dollars and 50 cents worth of gas was pumped into the Shadow.
The driver then walked into the Mobil gas station to pay for the gas. He handed Krissandra a prepaid Mobil “Go” card and the payment was declined. The driver said he had no other way to pay and told her he was in fact a police officer. Krissandra told the driver she couldn’t allow him to leave without paying and she was aware police officers had state gasoline cards. The driver said he was “called on the job” early that morning and he forgot his state gasoline card at home.
Krissandra’s intuition told her something wasn’t right and she felt she should call the police. Instead she chose to ignore her gut and called her supervisor K.J. Her supervisor told her to write down all of the driver’s information and then allow him to leave.
Before the driver left he spoke with K.J. on the phone and told K.J. to contact his supervisor at the police station but it would be a waste since he would only receive a slap on the wrist. Or K.J. could simply allow the driver to return the same day at a later time and pay for the $14.50 in gasoline. Instead of calling his bluff K.J. agreed to let the driver return later that day.
The driver gave Krissandra his name, home address, date of birth, driver’s license number, and home and work phone numbers. At the time there were no area codes and the number the driver provided, 424-2414, was very similar to the number for Orlando Police Department, 246-2414.
The driver was later identified as Jeremy Charles Dewitte.
Jeremy Dewitte never returned to the Mobil gas station to pay as promised and the store supervisor, K.J. agreed to press charges.
At the time Jeremy was a suspect in a similar case with another Mobil gas station involving gasoline theft. He was also a witness in a separate case where he claimed to be a security guard at The Palms Apartments in Orlando, Florida. Jeremy was 18 years old in 1998 and he was ineligible to be a police officer in the state of Florida because of his age.
On June 25, 1998 Officer Ross and Deputy Sheriff Rees of Orange County Sheriff’s Office went to Jeremy Dewitte’s home. There was a blue 1990 Dodge Shadow parked in the driveway. The Shadow had flashing lights in the windshield and rear window both strobe and rotating. The trunk had three large metal antennas and the vehicle tag was a Police Athletic League tag.
Police Athletic League, or PAL as it’s known in Florida, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing athletic opportunities after school and during the summer for children and teens.
Jeremy Dewitte was arrested and a man who was later identified as his stepfather yelled from inside the home, “Jeremy you’re a f*cking liar, you told me that Mobil was the last one!” His stepfather later emerged from the house and gave police officers Jeremy’s wallet which contained his driver’s license. It also contained a gold Oviedo Florida Police Explorer badge. It was seized and entered into evidence.
The blue Dodge Shadow was seized as well. Inside of the vehicle was a blue plastic box with an unloaded Smith & Wesson model 686 revolver, six .38 caliber rounds and two speed loaders. All of this was entered as evidence.
It is ironic that Jeremy Dewitte’s first encounter with law enforcement began with impersonating a police officer and what appears to be his last encounter is also a series of alleged police impersonations.
Most young men at the age of 18 are preparing for college or have started classes. Some young men join the military and others become entrepreneurs or work a few jobs so they can live on their own. It appeared Jeremy Dewitte had a goal of becoming a member of law enforcement. He was an Oviedo Police Explorer and earning community service hours for school credit. He would have learned about the principles of law enforcement, discipline, traffic control and traffic stops. It would have been a great starting point for him.
Unfortunately it seems Jeremy had other ideas about how he wanted to use the knowledge he’d gained being an Explorer.
Most people make mistakes, learn from them and never make the same mistake again because they truly feel sorrowful about what they have done. Some people make mistakes and never learn because they feel they have to make these mistakes to survive, such as theft or prostitution.
And others make mistakes and learn ways to fly under the radar when they repeat those actions. It’s no longer a mistake, it is a deliberate act and the person has figured out how to continue to do what they want without getting caught. The person can figure out the loopholes so well they can even get away with it for 10 years.