convenience store thief

As a DeLand police officer was entering a local convenience store Oct. 23, a 40-year-old man was walking out. A cashier at the store told the lawman that the guy walking out had taken something from the store’s cooler and that the items were in the pockets of his red jacket.

The officer went outside and struck up a conversation with the Suspected Shoplifter. He asked him if he’d taken anything from the store, and Suspected Shoplifter said he hadn’t.

The cashier went outside and told the lawman that the fellow had taken two cans from the store. The cashier said she’d seen the guy get the cans out of the cooler and leave.

The officer asked Suspected Shoplifter “if he had anything that he wasn’t supposed to have.” The fellow said “everything that he had on him belonged to him and that he didn’t take anything.”

The lawman saw that the front of Suspected Shoplifter’s jacket was bulging out, and he asked the man about the cans the lawman could see in his pockets. Suspected Shoplifter said “he was very tired and that maybe he took the cans by mistake.” He took out two Starbucks beverages in cans and gave them to the officer. (OK, we won’t call him Suspected Shoplifter anymore.)

Cashier came out again and said the store’s video camera showed Shoplifter taking other things too. She told him to unzip his jacket, which he did, which exposed “several pairs of rubber cleaning gloves and other items.” Shoplifter started to hand over the goods from his jacket.

Cashier said “she wanted him trespassed from the store,” and that she wanted to press charges. Shoplifter said “he was trespassed and [he] began to walk away.” He grabbed his bicycle and walked off with it. The officer told him to stop.

“As [Shoplifter] tried to get on his bike and ride off[,] [the officer] grabbed his backpack and again told him to ‘stop.’” After a bit of backpack tug of war between the lawman and the Shoplifter, the lawman ended up with the backpack and the Shoplifter rode away on the bike.

The officer called in a description of Shoplifter and the direction in which he was riding. Some Volusia Sheriff’s Office deputies found Shoplifter quite a few blocks away, and they “saw him discard a small baggie” “containing a brown powder substance.” The substance tested presumptive positive for fentanyl.

The DeLand police officer got to the scene and made a positive identification. When Shoplifter was searched, several items, including body wash and beef jerky, were found in his pants pockets. (I hope they don’t put that beef jerky back on the store shelves.)

An accounting of all the items Shoplifter stole from the convenience store: Tide Pods, beef jerky, work gloves, body wash, touchscreen gloves, and Starbucks beverages. The total value: $148.15.

When asked what he would have done with his haul, Shoplifter said “half of the items were for personal use, and the other half were going to be used to get narcotics.” So can you pay for drugs with beef jerky? Or maybe with Tide Pods and body wash?

Or would you sell the items and use the money to buy the drugs?

Anyway, Shoplifter was arrested by DeLand police and charged with two misdemeanors: petit theft first degree with a value of less than $750, and resisting an officer without violence.

On the other hand, the Volusia Sheriff’s Office charged Shoplifter with a felony: possession of fentanyl.

(Not only was shoplifting a bad idea, but Shoplifter bringing his fentanyl with him was an even worse idea. I’m guessing this guy won’t be a Mensa member anytime soon!)


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