Report: Man arrested shortly after thefts

OKEECHOBEE — A mini crime spree was thwarted Saturday with the arrest of an Okeechobee man after he had alleged stolen goods from two local businesses.

George Edward Carney was initially arrested June 17 on a misdemeanor charge of retail theft after he had reportedly stolen several items from Walmart.

George Edward Carney

When he was taken into custody by Officer Ryan Holroyd, of the Okeechobee City Police Department (OCPD), he allegedly had a small amount of suspected methamphetamine in his possession. Carney was then charged with possession of a controlled substance, which is a felony.

His bond on those charges was set at $5,500.

Carney was also arrested for retail theft by Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Bart Potter for the alleged theft of goods from the Publix Supermarket on U.S. 441 S. His bond on that misdemeanor charge was $1,000.

To make Carney’s already bad day even worse, Officer Holroyd later arrested the man on a felony charge of violation of probation – uttering forged bills. Now, because of the VOP, Carney is being held in the Okeechobee County Jail without bond.

According to Officer Holroyd’s arrest report Carney entered the Walmart store on South Parrott Avenue shortly after 1 p.m. Saturday, where surveillance cameras supposedly caught him placing a pair of white sunglasses on his head. He then took a knee brace and put it in his pants, noted the officer’s report.

Carney also took some other items and fled the store when confronted by a loss prevention officer, stated the report. The total value of the stolen items was $96.35.

Not long after OCPD officers were sent to Walmart, Deputy Potter spotted a “suspicious vehicle” leaving the Publix parking lot. After stopping the vehicle, the driver told Deputy Potter he picked up a man at Walmart then let him out at Publix.

“He said the man stole items from Walmart and he did not want him in his car any longer,” noted Deputy Potter.

Other OCSO units responded and deputies Jonathon Gove and Justin Deluca caught up with Carney inside the Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, which is located near the Publix store on 441 South.

Carney, stated Deputy Potter’s report, was carrying a Publix shopping bag that contained several items he had taken from the supermarket.

Those items, totaling $24.58, were identified by Publix manager Steve Lafferty.

It was also verified that no one had paid for the items.

Officer Holroyd pointed out in his report that Carney is slated to be on probation through Oct. 10, 2018. He went on to note that the suspected methamphetamine was tested, and that test indicated a positive result for the presence of meth. The suspected meth weighed .191 grams, added the officer.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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