Booze Thief Is Bottled Up By Police

Perp stuffed liquor in pants, limped away

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Booze Thief Busted

DECEMBER 13--A career criminal somehow stuffed up to 11 liquor bottles at a time down his pants in a booze theft spree that ended yesterday with the filing of multiple criminal charges, Florida court records show.

Investigators allege that Anthony Whitfield, 55, swiped nearly $3000 in alcohol during eight separate thefts over the past two months. Whitfield victimized Walmart, Walgreens, and Publix stores in the St. Petersburg area.

Whitfield, seen above, would stuff the liquor bottles down his pants and then depart the retailers “with a limp that was not present upon entering,” one investigator noted.

On November 23, Whitfield walked out of a Walmart with 11 bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey (retail value: $321.67) hidden in his pants. Four days later, Whitfield limped out of a Walgreens with four bottles of Jack Daniels, two bottles of Crown Royal, two bottles of Jameson, and a bottle of  Baileys Irish Cream in his pants. In late-November, Whitfield returned to Walmart and stole a whopping $706.19 worth of liquor (though a criminal complaint does not list the bottles jammed into his trousers that evening).

When presented with assorted store surveillance footage, Whitfield reportedly identified himself as the thief recordred in the act. Facing multiple felony theft charges, Whitfield is being held in the Pinellas County jail in lieu of $40,000 bond.

Whitfield, a St. Petersburg resident, appears destined to return to state prison, where he spent more than 21 years in custody since 1979. His rap sheet includes a variety of felony convictions for crimes like robbery, sexual battery, narcotics possession, and grand theft. (1 page)