[PHOTO CREDIT: iStock / kandypix]
[Original Publish Date: 11/15/19]
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CLERMONT, Florida – A man who told a police officer he, “probably looked suspicious,” lugging three larges boxes uphill away from the Clermont Target was arrested for petit theft Thursday, having even asked the officer for a ride.
Just after 1:15 p.m. a Clermont Police officer saw a man walking uphill, carrying three large, white boxes with what appeared to be photos of speakers on them, on the sidewalk along State Road 50, near Skytop View Way. The day before the officer attended an Intel meeting where a detective mentioned several boxes of speakers being found; due to this information, the officer stopped and made contact with the man, according to an arrest affidavit.
The man waved at her and appeared to be happy to see her, the officer noted. As the officer approached, she recognized the man as Johnny Clay Bryant III, a suspect in several ongoing investigations of retail theft at the same Target. Bryant asked if the officer could give him a ride to McDonald’s. The officer told him he was surprised Bryant planned to walk nearly two miles carrying the large boxes. Bryant said he was meeting a family member who was giving him a ride, the affidavit states.
The officer and Bryant continued to talk about his difficulty carrying the boxes and Bryant said he would have taken a “buggy” to help him, but he did not know if that would be wrong. The officer asked where he would have gotten a “buggy” and Bryant told the officer he had been at Target and also said he, “probably looked suspicious,” according to the affidavit.
Backup officers arrived and the arresting officer identified the items as three Jetson Strike All Terrain Hoverboards, two black and one purple. She attempted to make contact with loss prevention employees at Target, but was unsuccessful. She then drove to the store, leaving Bryant with her backup. A Target employee showed the officer video surveillance of Bryant placing the three hoverboards in a cart and leaving the store without paying.
Bryant was brought back to Target where he was arrested and charged with petit theft, two or more prior convictions. He is being held at the Lake County Jail on $2,000 bond.
Our Editor-in-Chief, Marilyn M. Aciego, began writing for Lake Legal News in 2010. In addition, she has made more than two dozen appearances on live national television, including Nancy Grace and the Greta Van Susteren show, along with her appearance on Evil Twins. Contact her with breaking news, tips, and feedback by sending an e-mail to 352Tips@gmail.com. You can also contact us on our Facebook page — and make sure you “Like” and “Follow us” there. [PHOTO CREDIT: Bonnie Whicher]