A St. Helena Island man was charged with shoplifting, marijuana possession and with providing false information to law enforcement after he allegedly stole beer and food from area grocery stores and was caught with some of the stolen items in his pants.
The theft was reported on Thursday at the Bluffton Walmart after employees spotted a man wearing a red shirt leave the store around 6:30 p.m. with four cases of beer without paying, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office report.
The same man reportedly returned 15 minutes later wearing a different shirt and was spotted grabbing more beer, but left the shopping cart of beer in the store before he left, an employee told a deputy.
When a deputy arrived, they detained a man who matched the description of the suspect. The man provided the deputy with two fake names and said he had no identification on him and that he was only at Walmart to buy two candy bars.
He also had keys to a Toyota, but said that the vehicle was not on the property, the report said. Another deputy found the vehicle parked in a handicapped parking spot at the store and saw several food items inside along with a “blunt,” the report said.
A deputy reviewed the store’s surveillance footage and identified the man as the person seen taking the cases of beer.
When they searched the man, deputies found two cans of crab meat and two packs of large chicken wings in his pants.
They also found a credit card with the man’s real name on it and he admitted he had not been truthful about his identity because he had warrants for his arrest, the report said.
Also inside the vehicle, deputies found more food taken from a Publix in Bluffton and another Publix in Jasper County.
Investigators from the Bluffton Police Department and the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office came to take the stolen items back to the stores.
The man was then taken to the Beaufort County Detention Center.