You Can’t Make This Stuff Up – February 2019

Shoplifter arrested after stealing TV, then walking into a home without his pants

A Michigan man was taken into custody after police say he walked into a home without pants following multiple thefts. At around 10 o’clock in the morning, police responded to a home on Cecil Road in Haring Township. According to troopers, three children were home when a man in his underwear walked in carrying a TV. The children’s parents soon arrived, got the children out, and called 911.

Troopers and deputies entered the home and found 27-year-old Anthony Billett of Cadillac. He was wearing only underwear and a sweatshirt, and was also barefoot, scratched, and bloody from the knees down. Police say Billett had allegedly stolen the TV he was carrying from Walmart, right after stealing clothing from Meijer. He was lodged in the Wexford County Jail and charged with home invasion, receiving and concealing stolen property, and two counts of retail fraud. He was held on a $115,000 bond.   [Source: MI News26]

Bad day for carjacker; foiled by a manual transmission

It isn’t Florida, but close by in Alabama, four car thieves once again proved how the manual transmission is one of the best car theft deterrents there is. In a TV report from Alabama’s FOX10 News, we’re able to watch the theft failure on surveillance video.

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Four men pull up to a Quick Stop in Semmes, Alabama, in a black SUV, then notice a 1995 Honda Civic running, with the keys in the ignition, parked nearby with nobody around. (For the record, don’t do this.) So, a couple of the men from the SUV hop into the Honda. Instead of peeling out in a cloud of dust and VTEC noises, the suspects puzzle over the alien concepts of a stick shift and clutch pedal, sitting around long enough for the owner to find them failing in their efforts to get away. They eventually give up and run away from the Civic as the owner confronts them, attempting to pull the driver out of his own car.

The Civic’s owner wasn’t quite done with the thieves yet, though. He whipped out his phone and began to record them, getting their vehicle’s license plate number and the black SUV’s driver on video. A follow-up story by FOX10 News says the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as 32-year-old Blake Lawrence.

You might think the story ends there, but it turns out Lawrence has been identified as the suspect in a convenience store robbery that went wrong the same day as the failed carjacking. Lawrence allegedly tried to pull off the convenience store robbery with a homemade weapon, but he wasn’t taken seriously by the clerk. He then proceeded to legally purchase a six-pack of beer at said convenience store.   [Source: AutoBlog]

Actor John Goodman talks shoplifting

While appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” the “Roseanne” star spoke about his upbringings in Missouri and how he came into show business. When the late-night host asked Goodman if he ever got “in trouble” as a kid, the actor told a funny story of a failed attempt to steal a hat at a store when he was 14.

“I got caught shoplifting once,” Goodman recalled. “I saw a hat, I lost. I said, ‘This hat is so cool…I got to have it.’ So I grabbed it, tore the price tag out and I started strolling, strolling towards the front door.” “Right when I got to the front door, my spidey sense saw somebody behind me coming up on me,” he continued. “So I turned around started walking back. And [a man] goes, ‘Where you going with that?’ and I said, ‘Oh, to the cash register.'”

“By the time they stopped grilling me… they believed me… but they had already called my mother, who arrived on the bus with a bunch of tears [in her eyes],” he added. “And it really hurt her… I couldn’t get her to believe that I didn’t mean to steal it.” After hearing the story, Colbert joked in response, “And so your life was ruined and you had to go into acting.”   [Source: TooFab]

C-store clerk stole dozens of lottery tickets… but she won over $1,000

An employee of a Burnsville gas station in Minnesota was charged with fraud and theft after authorities discovered she had stolen dozens of lottery tickets valued at more than $1,000. The complaint states officers began investigating the theft of the tickets in September of 2018. The store alleged several tickets were missing from inventory, which a further probe into surveillance found 29-year-old Britani Danz was probably responsible for the theft. Twenty-nine tickets with a value of $1,120 were cashed.

Danz later admitted that she took the tickets without paying and had a friend cash them for her. Danz told police she kept the proceeds for herself. She is being charged with one felony count of state lottery fraud, and one felony count of theft. Danz’s next court appearance is March 18.   [Source: CBS Minnesota]

Suspect in ukulele robbery apprehended

Police on the island of Maui arrested a 47-year-old man after he was identified as the robber who fled after striking a store employee with a stolen ukulele in Lahaina town Sunday afternoon, police said. Jason Bero, who gave no local address, was charged with second-degree robbery. His bail was set at $20,000. The robbery occurred at about 5 p.m. Sunday when a man entered D&D Ukulele store, took a koa wood ukulele valued at $500 and ran out of the store without paying for it, police said.

As the thief was running through the Lahaina Marketplace Shopping Center, a store employee pulled the suspect to the ground by grabbing the hood of his green jacket, according to police. The suspect swung the ukulele at the employee, striking his chin. Bystanders tried to apprehend the suspect before he fled. On Monday afternoon, Bero was identified after police obtained surveillance video, and he was recognized from prior police contact, according to police.
Bero was arrested shortly afterward in Lahaina. He also was being held on contempt-of-court warrants totaling $1,250.   [Source: The Maui News]

Pizza, Pizza manager arrested for stealing a lot of dough

In Florida, a Boynton Beach woman is accused of stealing a lot of dough from a Little Caesars pizza store where she worked last year. The business owner was at home November 30 and watching transactions at the shop through its surveillance system when he noticed manager Jenay Marie Evans put $300 in her purse, according to a Boynton Beach police report.

From September 10 through November 30, $15,963 was taken from the business, according to the owner’s calculations, police said. Evans, 25, was fired from her job at the store. She was arrested February 2 by the US Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force and released on $6,000 bond, according to police and court records.  [Source: SunSentinel]

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