WOODBINE, Ga. – Deputies have arrested a man they said stole multiple items totaling more than $10,000 from six Walmart stores in South Carolina.
Camden County Sheriff's Office say 36-year-old Brian O'Neal Williams of Green Cove Springs has been charged with theft by bringing stolen property into the state after he stole $10,780.52 worth of merchandise.
Williams was pulled over Tuesday after deputies say he made an improper lane change in his silver Dodge Charger on I-95 southbound. A deputy asked for permission to search Williams's vehicle.
Deputies said Williams denied the request to search his car, at which time a sergeant performed a free air search around the vehicle with his K-9. The dog alerted on the vehicle it was searched.
Inside the Charger, deputies said they found small traces of marijuana and two plastic bins filled merchandise inside of his vehicle.
The items in the bins, according to deputies, were Gillette razors, Nicorette Lozenges and gum, 5-Hour energy drink, Mucinex, Claritin, Zantac, Crest White Strips, Prevacid, Olay Skin Cream, Phillips Sonicare toothbrushes, a 16-piece china set, pet clippers, and a 31-pound bag of dog food.
When asked if Williams had receipts for the items found, Williams said he bought them from an "Arab guy" at the flea market on Lane Avenue in Jacksonville, according to deputies.
Deputies said they learned from the passenger that Williams may have stolen the items from Wal-Mart stores in South Carolina. When they checked the GPS unit in the vehicle, they were able to identify it came from a Wal-Mart in Charleston.
A stop loss specialist agreed to check the store's video security system. With no additional information and not knowing how long it would take the Wal-Mart employee to make contact, deputies said Williams was set free.
Shortly after Williams left the scene, a deputy said they received a message on their cell phone that contained photos of Williams in the Wal-Mart store, and confirmed that a large number of items were missing.
The deputy stopped Williams again and placed him under arrest.
On Wednesday, a Wal-Mart employee came to the Camden County Substation to pick up the stolen items. She ran the items through her scanner at Wal-Mart, and the total for the stolen items came out to be $10,780.52.
The Wal-Mart employee said the investigation led by deputies revealed that Williams attempted to steal items at six different Wal-Mart stores in South Carolina.
Williams allegedly began at around midnight on Tuesday at Buford, proceeded to Hardeeville, Walterboro, Summerville and then to two stores in North Charleston.
Deputies said Williams stole the items by placing them in the plastic containers and then purchasing the containers at the self-checkout registers.
Investigators said they believe that after the thefts, Williams picked up the passenger and heading south towards Florida. Deputies said the passenger is not a suspect in the thefts and was not arrested.