A 56-year-old homeless Ocala man is facing a felony retail grand theft charge after he stole $1,900 worth of merchandise from the Macy’s located inside Paddock Mall.
On Friday, January 21, an Ocala Police Department detective arrived at the store to investigate an incident of theft. A manager told the detective that a man, later identified as John Edward McCallister, had stolen numerous items from the store.
On Saturday, January 15, McCallister entered the store on two separate occasions. During the first visit, he attempted to fill a garbage bag with items, but nearby employees managed to chase him out of the store.
McCallister re-entered the store shortly after the first incident and he was observed taking a camo jacket along with numerous other items. Store employees followed him as he passed the registers, and he placed his hand underneath his shirt and threatened to shoot the employees.
According to the OPD report, the employees did not feel threatened since they could see the outline of his fingers underneath his shirt.
McCallister exited the store, and he was photographed with the stolen merchandise which was later determined to be worth $1,900. The detective was shown this photograph and observed that McCallister was holding the stolen camo jacket.
The OPD report stated that McCallister was already incarcerated at Marion County Jail on unrelated charges.
On Tuesday, January 25, the detective interviewed McCallister at the jail. When the detective showed McCallister the photograph and asked about the theft, McCallister admitted to stealing the items.
He claimed that due to drug use and homelessness, it became easier to “just boost items.”
McCallister is currently being held at Marion County Jail on $42,000 bond, and he is facing numerous felony charges that include retail grand theft, several counts of burglary of an occupied structure, and multiple counts of retail petit theft.
He has upcoming court dates scheduled on Tuesday, February 22 at 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 1 at 9 a.m., and Tuesday, March 8 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.