A persistent cultural cliche involves news stories about a “Florida man” who was caught doing something particularly dangerous or ill-advised. According to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, a suspect identified only as “Brad” is doing his part to keep the tradition alive.
The suspect allegedly tried to walk out of a St. Cloud Walmart with stolen items, which would have been bad enough. It just so happened, however, the store was packed with law enforcement officers at the time, who were there for an annual “shop with a cop” event.
In a social media post, the sheriff’s office had some fun at the suspect’s expense, writing: “Bad news, Brad!”
The post went on to assert that the suspect “decided to steal from our good neighbors and partners at Walmart in St. Cloud” even as dozens of cops were taking part in a charity to benefit needy kids.
“Seriously we just can’t make this up,” the agency added.
As the post suggested in an image that accompanied the statement, the suspect was apparently caught with a range of pilfered products including gloves, hedge clippers, and perfume. Another image showed the suspect with his hands cuffed and pants pockets exposed.
Florida Man tries to steal from Walmart during Shop with a Cop event https://t.co/2v1eL3LSzr pic.twitter.com/6TWs6vx187
— Florida Man (@FloridaMan__) December 4, 2022
Additional information about Brad’s identity and possible criminal charges were not immediately available, but the sheriff’s department did offer some details about how many law enforcement officers were roaming the store at the time of his arrest.
In addition to “almost 40” deputies, the event also included “the forensics team, the community services team,” and even Sheriff Marcos Lopez.
“Bad idea, Brad,” the agency declared.
It is worth noting that this is not the first time that police have encountered a brazen — or perhaps boneheaded — suspect allegedly attempting to steal from a store swarming with officers.
In 2018, a “shop with a cop” event in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, included the arrest of two suspects accused of trying to leave with about $1,900 worth of stolen electronics.
As Sylvan Lake Police Sgt. Michael Mondeau explained at the time: “The loss prevention [officers] actually apprehended them, then they asked for police assistance. The police officers were only about 20 feet away when they tried to walk out of the store.”