A St. Louis man was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday for setting fire to a supermarket toilet paper display in order to cover up his shoplifting.
James Stevens Jr., 57, pleaded guilty to a robbery charge in US District Court in St. Louis Thursday, just before he was sentenced.
On January 18, 2018, Stevens loaded a grocery cart at the Aldi supermarket at 3721 South Grand Boulevard, and then set a stacked display of toilet paper on fire, his plea agreement says.
While employees and shoppers were distracted by the fire, Stevens walked out with his cart without paying.
An employee recognized Stevens as a frequent customer who had shoplifted from the store before.
Stevens’ lawyer, Brocca Morrison, wrote in a court filing that Stevens has struggled to find a job and housing in the past due in part to learning disabilities and an eighth-grade education… St. Louis Post-Dispatch