Police: Lake City man arrested in series of thefts

Investigators say same man connected to 4 thefts spanning 3 days

Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Scott Stanton
Columbia County Sheriff's Office booking photo of Scott Stanton

LAKE CITY, Fla. – A man was arrested Tuesday in connection with a series of thefts spanning three days, the Lake City Police Department said.

Scott Stanton, 44, of Lake City, is charged with three counts of grand theft, two counts of felony retail theft and one count of larceny.

Police began investigating Saturday after they said a man, later identified by detectives as Stanton, walked into the front lobby of the Hampton Inn in Lake City, removed a 43-inch television from the wall and left in a vehicle.

Later on Saturday, police said, Stanton went to the CVS Pharmacy on Southwest Baya Avenue, took a gift bag from the shelf and filled it with items from the store.

The next day, according to police, Stanton was captured on camera at the Dollar General on Northwest Bascom Norris Drive. Police said he was seen taking a laundry basket and filling it with meat from the freezer before leaving through the emergency exit. 

On Monday, police said, Stanton was seen placing meat, including racks of ribs, underneath his clothing at Aldi and then walking out of the store.

Investigators said they were able to connect the same man to the four thefts, and possibly several others. They said they used video from various cases to identify Stanton and his vehicle.

On Tuesday, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, who was also investigating the suspect for various thefts, discovered his vehicle near the Safeway on Northwest Washington Street, according to police.

Officer responded and said they found Stanton hiding behind several boxes in the restroom. 

During an interview, investigators said they showed Stanton the camera footage, but he insisted he had not committed the thefts. Stanton also told investigators he loaned his vehicle out to a lot of people and could not account for it at the time of the thefts. 

“We suspect he is involved in several additional cases as well, and the investigation will continue by both agencies," Lake City Police Chief Argatha Gilmore said. 

Stanton was booked into the Columbia County jail, where he remained on $35,000 bond as of Friday.

About the Author: