GPD: Attempt to shoplift 97 items foiled by alarm

Published: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, June 24, 2013 at 9:45 a.m.

A Lawtey man tried to steal 97 items including toys and children's games from a store by filling a shopping cart with the merchandise and attempting to walk out of the store, police say.

A security guard at the Walmart supercenter at 1800 NE 12th Ave. said she saw 59-year old Jerry Wallace Tate trying to exit the store three separate times, turning around each time the security alarm went off, according to a Gainesville Police report.

Tate would return inside the store and search his cart in an attempt to locate which item was triggering the sensors and remove it before trying to exit again, the report said.

On the third try, the security guard stopped Tate. He later told police, “I know it was stupid. I am old enough to know better,” the report said.

The total value of the items in the shopping cart was $611.51.

The brazen strategy is not the first of its kind, said GPD spokesman Officer Ben Tobias.

“People actually do that,” Tobias said. “They load a shopping cart up and head for the door. It doesn't usually work, but they try.”

Tate was arrested on a felony charge of grand theft. He was being held Monday in the Alachua County jail on a $5,000 bond.

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