An Ocala man was popped Wednesday afternoon at a local Wal-Mart as he tried to leave the store with a bag full of DVDs – some of which he had brought in with him earlier.
An Ocala Police officer was called to the Wal-Mart at 4980 E State Road 40 and when he arrived, a loss prevention officer said that 35-year-old Brandon Alexander Hartigan had come into the store with a bag full of DVDs, gone to the electronics department and selected several others and then placed them all in a Wal-Mart bag while in the automotive section. He said Hartigan then went past the checkout areas and attempted to exit the store through the garden section before he was stopped, a police report states.
After being read his rights, Hartigan told the officer that he brought the DVDs in with him “as a reference for what to buy for his friend.” He said he selected the items and wanted to keep them separate so he put the new ones in a different Wal-Mart bag. He claimed he then went to get his friend who was waiting outside and took the items with him “so they wouldn’t get stolen,” the report says.
The officer noted that Hartigan had a cart and the old items were bagged while the new DVDs were not. The officer also watched video surveillance footage of the incident and saw Hartigan conceal the items and leave through the garden section without attempting to pay for the $171 worth of DVDs, the report says.
Hartigan was then taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with retail petit theft (first offense). He was released Thursday on $500 bond and his next court date hasn’t yet been set, jail records show.