Virtually every reasonable person would agree that engaging in shoplifting
is an incredibly bad, even stupid, idea. Beyond the obvious ethical issues,
there also exists a substantial possibility that the shoplifter will be
observed, apprehended, and turned over to law enforcement. If that occurs,
bad things quickly start happening to the unsuccessful shoplifter.
To increase the odds of a successful shoplifting excursion, some shoplifters
will seek to create a diversion which will enable their escape with the
stolen goods. Recently in Florida, an unlucky pair of accused shoplifters
are facing some unique allegations. Two men were arrested last month on
grand larceny charges after one allegedly faked a heart attack to draw
attention to himself, while his partner in crime escaped with a shopping
cart full of toys. Genard Trey Dupree, and Tarus Bernard Scott, both of
Lake Wales, Florida, are accused of taking approximately $369 worth of
merchandise from Lake Wales Wal-Mart. Surveillance video from the Wal-Mart
purportedly shows the two men entering the store together, and loading
a single shopping cart full of toys.
After loading the shopping cart, the men proceeded to the exit of the store.
As they approached the exit, the video shows Dupree falling to the ground
while dramatically clutching his chest - a fact fans of the 70's television
hit, Sanford and Son will find strangely reminiscent. Fred grabbing his
chest while faking a heart attack and saying "This is the big one
Elizabeth!," was for me, one of the high points of each episode.
Each of Fred's seemingly endless faked heart attacks - it seems as
though they occurred every episode - never failed to get my full attention
In this incident, the video shows the shoplifter with the shopping cart
hustling out the exit of the Wal-Mart when his friend goes to the floor
with a Sanford and Son-esque feigned heart attack. Suspicions skyrocketed
when Dupree miraculously recovered, quickly left the store, and jumped
into a SUV that Scott had loaded with the stolen items. Unfortunately
for this unlucky duo, their shoplifting adventure ended badly. The video
footage of the shoplifting incident enabled law enforcement to quickly
identify the pair. Both men have extensive priors which made identification
in this shoplifting incident easy. While shoplifting is not considered
a major crime, Dupree and Scott, may have significant consequences if
convicted due to their prior criminal records.