A Tavares man was arrested for drug possession after being mistaken for a retail thief and searched by law enforcement.
Police received a call for a retail theft that had just occurred at Family Dollar, located at 937 North 14th Street, at about 7:25 p.m. Sunday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department. The caller advised a man matching 35-year-old Samuel Charles Hines’ description took a pair of headphones and ran out of the store without paying.
About five minutes later, law enforcement found Hines across from the store at 1320 Shelfer Street. He had a Family Dollar plastic bag in his hand which furthered the suspicion for him as the suspect, the report said.
While Hines spoke with the officers, he dug through his left pant pocket looking for his cigarettes. He accidentally dropped a small plastic baggie containing a white crystal-like substance on the ground and tried to step on it before the officers could notice. However, due to the suspicion of narcotics, Hines was detained and searched, the report said.
The officers found two plastic baggies in Hines’ front right pant pocket during the search, the report said. One baggie contained 3 grams of a green leafy substance while the other had more of the white substance, totaling 4.9 grams. These later tested positive for marijuana and cocaine, respectively.
It was determined during the investigation that although Hines matched the suspect’s description and had come from Family Dollar, he was not the thief, the report said.
Hines was still arrested for possession of marijuana and cocaine. He was transported to the Lake County Jail and released after posting $3,000 bond.