Citra pair accused of self-checkout scam at Ocala Wal-Mart

Tyler Joseph Taylor

A Citra man and woman were arrested after an alleged self-checkout scam at an Ocala Wal-Mart.

Tyler Joseph Taylor, 31, was charged with retail petit theft (third or subsequent offense), while Jacqueline Starr Hoover, 29, was charged with retail petit theft after they were caught Dec. 4 at the Supercenter at 2600 SW 19th Avenue Road. Both were also charged with probation violations.

A loss-prevention specialist at the store told an Ocala Police officer she saw Taylor and Hoover in the self-checkout line and that they used a Kool-Aid packet to cover the SKU bar on several items. Instead of the correct price for each item, the price of the Kool-Aid packet was rung up, according to the OPD report.

Jacqueline Starr Hoover

Items improperly scanned a box of canned sodas, male tennis shoes, and a pack of Oreos. The correct value of the items was $197.80, while the amount scanned was $14.67. The officer observed surveillance footage of the incident, the report said.

Taylor told the officer that he and Hoover came to the store to purchase items with their friend’s debit card. While they were shopping, their friend told them not to use the card. Taylor said he and Hoover had money but not enough to purchase all the items in their shopping cart, according to the report.

Hoover said she didn’t intend to steal the items when she came into the store. She said she had money but not enough to pay for all the items. She said she purchased the Kool-Aid packets because she wanted them and admitted she did scan the Kool-Aid packet SKU in the place of the other items. Hoover apologized repeatedly and said she knew she messed up, the report said.

A criminal history check showed Taylor has previous convictions for petit theft in February 2018, March, and September. Both he and Hoover are being held without bond in the Marion County Jail because of the probation violations. Taylor is scheduled to appear in Marion County Court on Jan. 7, while Hoover’s court date is set for Jan. 14.