WINTER HAVEN (FOX 13)
POLK COUNTY- For most, the Sunoco Snack Shop along Avenue G NW is a perfect pit stop for a pick-me-up. But one persistent patron of the Winter Haven store is forgetting one key part of the transaction: paying up.
Polk deputies say the serial shoplifter hit this same store three times with little interest in the cash drawer. Investigators say he's more concerned with lining his stomach than his pockets. The suspect is seen on surveillance video stealing chips, soda, and honey buns.
"On the third time he came in, he's just stuffing his pockets. The owner says, I've had enough of this and hit the button to lock his door," Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said Wednesday.
Nothing was stopping this honey bun bandit from bolting. He's seen on surveillance video barreling through the store's door with his snacks in tow.
While the crime may seem minimal, deputies say this suspect can't seem to satisfy his sweet tooth. They believe he's hit a number of convenience stores across Polk County.
"What really amazes me is the community put up with it for awhile. They would just tell him don't come back. They'd take the stuff back from him and tell him to leave," Judd said.
Sheriff Judd says there's no telling how many times the suspect indulged on someone else's dime. Judd's now on the hunt to cure the suspect's hunger pains once and for all.
"We have video. The community will help us and then we'll lock him up in the county jail. No bags of potato chips, no honey buns. Water and sandwiches," Judd said.
If you recognize the suspect, you're asked to call the Polk County Sheriff's Office or leave an anonymous tip with Heartland Crime Stoppers at 1-800-226-8477.