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Wanted man jailed for stealing Starbucks drink from Walmart

A Leesburg man was arrested Thursday at his home, located at 2113 Harlem Ave., on a 2023 Lake County warrant for burglary and theft.

Houston Davis Spencer
Houston Davis Spencer

On Nov. 14, 2023, around 7:53 p.m., an officer with the Fruitland Park Police Department responded to Walmart, located at 2501 Citrus Boulevard, to assist the Leesburg Police Department with a trespasser complaint, according to an arrest report from FPPD. Officers with LPD were unable to respond due to being busy on another call for service. 

While on the way, the officer learned that the suspect was identified as Spencer, who he knew had an active warrant for his arrest for theft. Officers arrived on scene and found Spencer standing near the customer service counter. He was ordered to take his hands out of his pockets, an order with which he did not immediately comply. Because of this, he was redirected to the counter where he was handcuffed after a brief struggle, the report said. 

The officer escorted Spencer to his patrol vehicle where he conducted a search of his person. This revealed a blue straw cut into a smaller portion thought to be used for narcotics. He also saw a piece of tinfoil fall from Spencer’s person onto the ground in front of him, which was later found to contain a burnt residue suspected to be fentanyl. Also found was a glass pipe in his right-back pocket that the officer knew was used to smoke crack-cocaine, the report said. 

Spencer was then placed in the back of the officer’s patrol vehicle so he could speak with a loss prevention officer, who requested Spencer be trespassed from the property. The Walmart LPO stated that he saw Spencer enter the store and remove a beverage from a display before drinking it and leaving the bottle in the trash. The beverage was a “Starbucks” coffee drink worth $3.28, the report said. 

The report noted that Spencer had an active Lake County warrant regarding a felony petit theft and a Marion County warrant for the same charge. Both warrants were confirmed. 

Spencer later advised that he intended to pay for the drink, but he took it into the bathroom and forgot it was there. He stated that the drink was not completely empty and that he did not throw it in the trash, the report said. 

After being arrested by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday morning, Spencer was charged with burglary (auto or conveyance) and theft (two or more prior convictions). He was taken to the Lake County Jail with bond set at $7,000.

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