Shoplifting is against the law. It is generally not a good idea to shoplift an item that requires assembly, then to use the sidewalk in front of the store from which the item has been shoplifted to assemble the item.
A 28-year-old transient did so on Monday, shoplifting a $540-Razor brand electric scooter at the Target store on State Road 100 in Palm Coast, and ended up at the Flagler County jail on two misdemeanor counts.
The transient, told a Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy that since he was homeless, he didn’t have a way to get around. He needed a ride, so he lifted one, he said. Court records indicate the man was driving until 2018, if illegally: he has numerous arrests for driving on a suspended or revoked license. He was also in drug court several years ago, and last year was convicted of a third-degree felony for cocaine possession, serving a few months in jail for it.
According to the Volusia Flagler Commission on Homelessness and Housing, Flagler had 65 homeless individuals in the last point-in-time census in January 2022, including 50 considered unsheltered. The city and the county have no public transportation systems other than the county’s on-demand service, which works by appointment.
A large proportion of the homeless population suffers from mental health illnesses. There is no indication in the arrest report that the individual is mentally ill. But his behavior–self-aware thieves tend to want to get away from the scene of their shoplifting as soon as they can–suggests that he may not have been in full control of his capacities.
A surveillance video of the incident shows the homeless man entering Target at noon, taking a shopping cart, then heading to the sporting goods section, where he took the scooter and placed it in the cart. He rolled the cart out of the store. A Target employee called authorities. When a sheriff’s deputy arrived, he saw the man on the sidewalk, assembling the scooter. In a brief body camera segment, the man did not initially answer whether he had bought the item. His arrest report states he did.
Deputies routinely search individuals as they’re being detained or placed under arrest. The deputy found a small metal pipe burned at one end. The deputy concluded it was used to smoke drugs. The man was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia in addition to the shoplifting charge.
His bond was set at $2,000. He remains at the county jail.
Deborah Coffey says
This is just so heartbreaking. Once again, we note Republicans choosing their false god…Ronald Reagan. We are still living his terrible legacy. https://www.salon.com/2013/09/29/ronald_reagans_shameful_legacy_violence_the_homeless_mental_illness/
Timothy Patrick Welch says
California was the first state to witness not only an increase in homelessness associated with deinstitutionalization but also an increase in incarceration and episodes of violence.
Pre-Regan stuff, but I still like(d) Jimmy Carter.
Jeez give the guy a bicycle or something. There but for the grace of God….
Maybe the scooter man was intentionally stealing in plain sight…
Back in 1977, I worked at a large discount store in Miami.
The name of the store was Fedco, or Federal Discount, on Flagler Street.
Does anybody here remember that place?
What a riot! The shoplifters would come in and nonchalantly put expensive
fragrances and other smaller high-value items into bags and
then look for a line. At the register, they’d pay for gum but “forget” to
pay for the items in the bag! They were successful about 80% of the time.
Then we’d get the cool crowd browsing the “boom box” radios from Panasonic
(with Ambience baby!) and Sharp, and Sony, blah, blah. How brazenly they’d
simply grab the selected boom box still in its carton, put it on their shoulder,
and just walk out, lah, lah, lah.
I wondered if they still qualified for the product warranty…
The way I viewed it, I wasn’t the teen-aged store policeman and never said
anything to the absconders. At some point, they hired Miami Police officers
in full uniform to guard the store. Moonlighting was/is permitted at the Miami PD.
The scooter guy from Target was tracked as soon as he entered.
He had a 5% chance of getting away, but he needed to assemble
the scooter to get away. So he decided to build it right there.
Maybe he wanted to get arrested?
Maybe he missed his friends in the pokey?
There are a lot of hidden cameras there, and your only hope is that
they’re not watching the monitors, or busy busting another “deep
@Green Roof Inn — still laughing?
Connie Sparks says
There is Joe the Bike man gives out free bikes to anyone in need. Bunnell Methodist Church on Tuesdays 10 am to 12 noon. Do you know what’s heartbreaking Love on Another. People today don’t want to help one another. I know he shouldn’t shoplift. Matthew 5 – 44.
I would like to make one small correction. I know of who you speak of when you mention Joe the Bike Man. However over the years Joe’s bike give away organization has gotten so big that he now has a few other men helping him and they are called “The Bike Men of Flagler County”. They still do an amazing job by helping as many kids and adults with bicycles, especially during the Christmas holiday when some hundreds of kids might not get a bike because the money isn’t there for the parents to get their kids a bike.
Connie Sparks says
Ok TR I know him personally and he helps the Homeless people also. The Bike Men of Flagler. What is your point to correct me. Have you every helped a Homeless person, I have helped homeless men & women in the last ten years in Palm Coast.
Land of no turn signals says says
Some mental health most just lazy.
@lonts. . . and, you know about their laziness how? I’m guessing it statement just came from your own unhealthy/negative mind. Opening your heart to a little compassion would likely help you to have a more positive opinion of others and more importantly of yourself. We are all in this together! There but for the grace of each other go each of us! Peace!