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Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Woman steals gun belt from decorative scarecrow at Leesburg Police Department

A Leesburg woman was arrested after allegedly stealing a gun belt from a scarecrow decoration at the Leesburg Police Department.

Tanisha Payton
Tanisha Payton

Police responded to the area of Pine and Canal Street in reference to a theft at the Leesburg Police Department, located at 115 East Magnolia Street, at about 11:49 a.m. Monday, according to an arrest report from the Leesburg Police Department.

Officers were advised that a woman matching 32-year-old Tanisha Payton’s description was seen knocking down a large scarecrow decoration on police department property. She removed the $100 gun belt from the decoration and left the area on foot headed southbound on Canal Street before turning eastbound on Pine Street, the report said.  

While in 300 block of Canal St, officers spotted Payton holding the stolen gun belt and face of the scarecrow. They approached her and asked her to drop the police property, but she refused to comply. Officers attempted to detain her as a result, the report said.  

However, Payton then made several evasive movements attempting to prevent the officers from controlling her, including swinging her arms out of their reach. As officers placed handcuffs on her, she began bracing, tensing and trying to push and pull away from them. She was ultimately detained and placed under arrest, the report said.  

A check revealed that Payton had one prior grand theft conviction from March 2010, the report said. 

Payton was subsequently charged with petit theft (one prior conviction), criminal mischief ($200 or less) and resisting (obstructing without violence). She was transported to the Lake County Jail and released of her own recognizance. She is responsible for appearing in court on Oct. 31.

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