You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – May 2018

A collection of odd and whacky news stories that caught the Loss Prevention Media staff's attention

Man with Joker face-tattoo back in jail after just 12 hours

Twelve hours after a 38-year-old man left the Marion County Jail, where he was held in a pending domestic battery case, police say he walked out of a store with a Budweiser can in his back pocket and got arrested again. Isaac Casperson’s face was easy to recognize, with its joker-style tattoo, including pointy circles around his eye and lines extending his mouth into wide grin. Ocala Police Department officials said Casperson went to the Dollar General and stole a can of Budweiser. An employee told Officer Mike Rossi she recognized Casperson as someone who had stolen from them in the past. She said he walked to the beer cooler, removed three cans of beer, put them in a hand basket and walked toward the register. When Casperson joined the line, the employee said, he only had one beer. She confronted him about the beers, the employee told Rossi. Casperson took one from his pocket and put it on the counter. After lifting up his shirt to show the employee that he had no more, Casperson walked out. As he was leaving, the employee saw that Casperson had another can of beer – priced at $2.25 before tax – in his back pocket. He left the store on a bicycle.

Rossi found him standing in front of a Chevron gas station, swaying from side to side and appearing to be asleep while standing, according to Casperson’s arrest report. The officer had been called there in response to a suspicious person who made other people nervous. As Rossi placed handcuffs on him, Casperson was startled and the officer told him that he was under arrest for possession of an open container of alcohol. In Casperson’s left front pocket was a can of Four Loko. Casperson told the officer that he was drunk and wanted help, the report says. Rossi said that, when Casperson was arrested, his behavior changed from nice to shouting at him and another officer. In late March, Casperson had been arrested by an OPD officer on suspicion of punching a woman in the face and head and yelling at her. Marion County Jail records show Casperson was released at 11:21 p.m. Wednesday and was taken into custody again, on the new charges, at 11:31 a.m. Thursday. At his first appearance hearing Friday in front of Judge Sarah Ritterhoff Williams, Casperson’s bond was set at $5,000 for retail petit theft and $5,000 for violating the city ordinance. His next court appearance is June 1. [Source: Ocala StarBanner]

C-Store shop cranks classical music to dissuade loitering

A 7-Eleven in California has found a way to keep people from panhandling and loitering outside the store: crank up classical music. Sukhi Sandhu, who owns the franchise in Modesto, said his customers tell him they feel safer since he started blasting symphonies and occasional operas over outdoor speakers. “Once the music started, the riffraff left,” said Manuel Souza, who’s homeless and jokingly referred to himself as part of the riffraff. The loud music makes it hard “to hang out and gossip and joke around” near the store, Souza told the Modesto Bee last week from under a tree down the block. The classical music is part of a 7-Eleven program that encourages non-confrontational methods to reduce loitering, Sandhu said. It eliminates any risks faced by clerks when asking panhandlers to leave, he said.

Another method employed at some stores is a device that emits a high-pitched screech similar to a mosquito buzzing in your ear. Clerks turn the device on and off as needed. Classical music is more effective, Sandhu said, and he plans to introduce it at other stores he owns in central California. “We have received very positive feedback from our customers about the atmosphere created by the music devices piloted in several 7-Eleven stores across the US,” the convenience store chain’s corporate office said in a statement. The newspaper said Monday that such measures aren’t new. Convenience stores and other businesses as well as public facilities have used classical music and the mosquito device over the years to repel panhandlers, homeless people and loitering teenagers.  [Source: The Public Opinion]

Fingerprint left in Play-Doh leads to shoplifting suspect

A Massachusetts police department says a fingerprint left in a hunk of Play-Doh led them to a shoplifting suspect. Leicester (LESS’-tuhr) police responded to Walmart on Dec. 11 after an employee found several electronic anti-theft devices that had been covered in the malleable clay-like toy in an apparent attempt to neutralize them. The attempt to disable the spider-wrap devices failed, and the suspect had fled. He did, however, leave a fingerprint impression in the Play-Doh. Police announced Monday the Connecticut Forensics Laboratory helped find a match for the print. Police charged 55-year-old Dennis Jackson with unlawful removal of an anti-theft device. Police say he has a long criminal record and faces arrest warrants in at least two other states. Jackson is jailed and it’s not clear if he had a lawyer. [Source: YakimaHerald]

Theft suspect arrested after coming back for lost cellphone

In Pennsylvania, Lower Merion police arrested and charged Kasheef Allen, 18, of Philadelphia with retail theft and making terroristic threats at a 7-Eleven store in Penn Wynne April 29. According to police, Allen entered the store and asked for two packs of cigars. The clerk got the cigars and as Allen was pretending to get out money he grabbed the cigars and fled from the store. On his way out he dropped one of the cigar packs and his cellphone. A short time later he returned to get his phone but the clerk had locked the door as he waited for police to arrive. Police said Allen threatened the clerk if he did not let him in to get his phone. Police arrived and took Allen into custody.   [Source: Main Line Times]

Masked robber identified by mom, turns himself in

Police in Long Island say a man who held up a string of businesses while hiding behind a surgical mask has been identified by his mother. Officials say the 50-year-old Bellport man turned himself in on Monday, two days after Suffolk County police released a picture of the suspect during an April 24 robbery at an East Patchogue gas station. Police say the man told them his mother was able to identify him from the picture. The suspect is accused of robbing at gunpoint several businesses in East Patchogue, Yaphank and Holbrook. The businesses were robbed between Feb. 17 and Saturday, according to authorities. He was arraigned Monday on five counts of first-degree robbery.  [Source: YakimaHerald]

Employee charged with trying to steal safe from Dairy Queen

A man has been charged with trying to steal a safe from a Dairy Queen restaurant last month in southwest suburban Orland Park, Illinois. 

Authorities were called with reports that someone had damaged and tried to remove a safe from a Dairy Queen, according to a statement from Orland Park, Police. 

Evidence found at the scene, including latent fingerprints, identified 21-year-old Jonathan S. Lofton as the suspect, police said. Lofton worked at the Dairy Queen and hid inside the building after all the other employees had left on the night of the burglary.

He tried, unsuccessfully, to break open the safe and remove it from the building, police said. He was arrested Wednesday and charged with a felony count of burglary. Lofton, who lives in south suburban Lansing, appeared in court Thursday for a bond hearing before Judge Michael Joseph Kane at the Bridgeview Courthouse, according to police and Cook County court records. He was released on a $10,000 I-bond and his next court date was scheduled for May 23.  [Source: ABC7 Chicago] 

Suspect ‘foils’ own theft plan

One 39-year-old Oregon man attempted to shoplift, according to police, but foiled his own plan… quite literally. Gresham police said Carlos Morris tried to beat a store’s loss prevention efforts by wrapping aluminum foil around a security tag on Sunday. Aluminum foil used to be able to block radio signals, however, as the police department pointed out, “It’s the 21st century.”  Police also added that there are other loss prevention measures in place to prevent thieves from using this method. Morris was promptly arrested by the store’s loss prevention team and booked into the Multnomah County Jail for theft in addition to a warrant for a previous theft charge. [Source: KOIN6 CBS News]



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