A cashier working the early-morning hours at a Deltona convenience store recognized a man who came in as someone who’d stolen from her store before. He was in his early- to mid-30s, and this time, he showed up with a woman.
The woman got the cashier’s attention, and the man headed toward the back of the store. Then the woman got the cashier to turn around and get her some cigarettes while the man carried a 12-pack of beer out of the store without paying.
The woman paid for the cigarettes (How considerate of her!) and left, getting in a car with the Beer-Stealing Guy, but the cashier managed to get the license plate number, noting that it was a Florida Disabled Veteran license plate.
Cashier hadn’t called law enforcement the last time the man stole from her store, but this time she did. She gave a deputy the license plate information, and mentioned that the man “appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.” (Oh, good, mix drugs and alcohol, and see what comes of it.)
The Sheriff’s Office came up with a suspect, and, the next day, a deputy had the cashier look at a photo lineup. She picked out the man who shoplifted the beer, and it was the same suspect the Sheriff’s Office had come up with.
Meanwhile, one of the deputies spotted Beer-Stealing Guy standing outside a bar several blocks from the convenience store. Deputies saw him get into a Lexus sedan and then come back into the bar.
A little while later, the first deputy detained Beer-Stealing Guy and put him in handcuffs.
When he was about to be placed in the deputy’s patrol car, Beer-Stealing Guy “advised [the deputy] that he had ‘some white’ in his pants pocket.” The deputy found approximately 0.4 grams of what turned out to be crack cocaine in the guy’s right pants pocket.
In Beer-Stealing Guy’s left pants pocket, deputies found the keys to the Lexus sedan he’d gotten into earlier that evening. Inside that car, they located a Taurus 9mm pistol, which they couldn’t find a record of in the FCIC/NCIC system.
Beer-Stealing Guy agreed to talk, and admitted to taking the beer. “He knew it was wrong and did not think it would be a big deal.” Furthermore, he “admitted to possessing the recovered crack cocaine.”
And Beer-Stealing Guy said the Lexus sedan that he drove to the bar belonged to his father. (Great, let’s rope Dad into this now!)
Beer-Stealing Guy was charged with petit theft (a misdemeanor) for stealing $18.63 worth of beer, and he was also charged with possession of crack cocaine (a felony). If he hadn’t taken the beer in the first place, law enforcement might never have learned about the cocaine.
— By Keith Allen, based on local police-agency reports. If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers, 1-888-277-TIPS. You could be eligible for a reward