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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Man jailed after leaving Ocala grocery store with stolen meats bulging from his pants

An Ocala man was arrested Sunday after walking out of an Ocala grocery store with a “big bulge” of food items underneath his shirt and pants.

Jeffrey Walter Burleson, 61, was arrested Sunday after he allegedly stole packages of meat from an Ocala Winn-Dixie grocery store.

A Marion County sheriff’s deputy spoke with an off-duty captain from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission who reported seeing 61-year-old Jeffrey Walter Burleson walk out of the Winn-Dixie at 7131 N U.S. Hwy. 441. The off-duty captain said he then watched Burleson remove the concealed items from his pants and put them in a vehicle, a sheriff’s office report states.

The off-duty captain said Burleson then walked back into the store and he made the manager aware of what he had seen. The deputy then spoke with the manager, who said he watched Burleson select meat, put the packages in his pants and walk out of the store without paying for the groceries, the report says.

The manager claimed that Burleson took a pack of T-bone steaks, a pack of ribeye steaks, two packs of boneless ribeye steaks and three pounds of ground beef valued at $123.02, the report says.

The deputy then made contact with Burleson, who admitted to taking the meat. He said he took some for himself and the rest for a drug dealer. And he said he’s out of work and couldn’t afford to pay for the meat packages, the report says.

Burleson, who was previously convicted of retail theft on May 5, 1995 and April 26, 1999 in Lake County, was transported to the Marion County Jail. He was charged with larceny/petit theft from a merchant (third or subsequent offense) and released Monday at 9:04 p.m. on $2,000 bond.