A Leesburg man and a Vermont woman were arrested recently after being accused of ripping off merchandise at a popular Villages department store.
Lady Lake Police officers were called to the Belk store at the La Plaza Grande shopping center near Spanish Springs Town Square shortly after 2 p.m., where they spoke with a loss prevention officer who had detained William Jacob Roberts. He said he had observed Roberts on video surveillance footage as he entered the store at a “rapid pace” and went to the men’s shoe department.
The loss prevention officer said Roberts tried on a pair of $70 Fila running shoes, then removed them and concealed one of the shoes in his pants. He added that Roberts carried the other shoe around a corner and placed it in his pants pocket, a Lady Lake Police report states.
The loss prevention officer said Roberts exited the store without paying for the shoes and when he approached him with his security credentials in hand, he attempted to run back inside the store. He said he then escorted Roberts to the security office and contacted law enforcement.
After being read his rights, Roberts said he had “never done anything like this before.” He said he knew someone who was willing to pay for the shoes and he was “broke and needed the money,” the report says.
While officers were processing Roberts, 38-year-old Krystal A. Pinsonneault was observed via surveillance cameras holding a white jewelry placard with a set of earrings attached. She walked around the store and entered the ladies plus-sized department and selected a garment, then attempted to enter a fitting room area that was closed. Shen then returned to the garment rack, “leaned in close” and started looking around. When her hands were visible again, there was no placard or jewelry visible, a report says.
The loss prevention officer went to the area where Pinsonneault was standing and located the jewelry placard but the earrings were missing. Pinsonneault exited the store and was confronted by the loss prevention associate and a Lady Lake Police corporal, who asked her about the earrings. She pulled them from her front left shorts pocket and asked if she “could just pay for them,” the report says.
After being read her rights, Pinsonneault admitted to stealing the $12 earrings and said she “thought about paying for them but her friend wanted to leave so she stole them,” according to the report, which noted that Pinsonneault was “cooperative during this encounter.”
Both Roberts and Pinsonneault were placed under arrest and transported to the Lake County Jail. Roberts was charged with retail petit theft (third conviction or more). He was being held on $2,000 bond and is due in court April 19 at 8:30 a.m., jail records show.
Pinsonneault, of Pownal, Vt., was charged with petit theft. She was released on $500 bond and is due in court April 7 at 8 a.m. to answer to the charge.