LAKELAND (FOX 13) - A Polk County man must have been hoping for a slick getaway, but an observant detective gummed up his plans.
According to the sheriff’s office, Detective Phil Ryan was sitting in his patrol car outside the 7-Eleven store on Duff Road in north Lakeland last Thursday. He watched as a man with baggy jeans walked into the store and proceeded to put 15 quart-sized bottles of Pennzoil down his pants – apparently unaware that Ryan could see him.
But that wasn’t all. Detective Ryan says he continued watching as the man dropped 30 movies from a shelf onto the floor, bent down, stacked the movies on top of one another, and slid them down into his pants, too.
The suspect then walked out of the store, past Detective Ryan, and tried to get into his own vehicle – at least until the detective stopped him.
Surveillance video shared by the sheriff's office showed the man waddling out of the store, then back in after being intercepted by the detective. He then unloads his haul – one bottle at a time – as Ryan looks on.
The suspect, identified by deputies as William Jason Hall, was arrested. Since it’s the 38-year-old’s third petit theft arrest, he was charged with a felony.
“Mr. Hall, the next time you need some motor oil and last-minute gifts, please pay for them,” a PCSO Facebook post chided. “That guy in the car outside might just be a plainclothes detective.”