A Leesburg man was arrested for retail theft after attempting to steal over $600 worth of merchandise from Walmart.
Police responded to Walmart, located at 2501 Citrus Boulevard, in reference to a retail theft at 5:44 p.m. Monday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department.
The officer was informed that a man matching 48-year-old Mark Alan Whorley’s description exited through the garden department emergency exit with a shopping cart full of merchandise, the report said. After being confronted by a store employee, Whorley left the stolen items and took off on foot near the Murphy USA gas station, located at 1801 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.
Upon arrival in the area, the officer saw Whorley running beside the gas pumps at Murphy USA. His first words to the officer after being detained were “you got me.” He then explained he was stealing food to feed his family and that he left the cart behind when the employees confronted him, the report said.
Whorley stole about 31 items consisting of automotive and sporting good products, groceries and housewares totaling $616.56, the report said.
The officer was then notified that Whorley has two prior convictions for theft. The first was in May 2005 for larceny in a building that occurred in Hillsdale, Mich. The second was in June 2022 for larceny (second conviction) in Lake County, the report said.
The Mississippi native was subsequently charged with retail theft (two or more prior theft) and retail theft (resisting merchant). He was transported to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $3,000 bond.