Thief slips 14 bottles in waistband in 2 trips to liquor store, deputies say

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A man walked out of a Publix liquor store in St. Augustine last week without paying for several large bottles of liquor that he had hidden in his waistband, deputies said.

According to the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, the man went into the Tuscan Way Publix liquor store about 7 p.m. last Thursday with a woman and two children.

Deputies said surveillance video shows the group walk in and then the man grabbing several bottles of liquor, placing them in his waistband and then walking out of the store.

The four are scene on the video returning a short time later, and the man again shoves numerous bottles in his waistband before leaving the store, deputies said.

An unidentified customer told employees that the man had walked out with a waistband full of bottles of liquor, prompting the employees to check surveillance video the next day, where they saw the alleged theft and then called the sheriff's office.

Employees discovered that the man took 14 bottles of liquor with a retail value of over $800.

The accused thief is described as a black man in his 30s to early 40s, with a heavy build, wearing a black t-shirt with white writing on the front, grey gym type shorts, a black ball cap and black slippers.

He was accompanied by a black woman wearing a purple tank top with glasses hanging off her neck, black yoga type pants and a light colored hair wrap on the top of her head.

When the couple entered the store, she was carrying a toddler and was accompanied by a young girl.

Anyone who can identify the individuals is asked to contact Deputy Vanessa Gillis at the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office at 904-824-8304 or by email at To remain anonymous and possibly be eligible for a cash reward, call CrimeStoppers of N.E. Florida at 1-888-277-TIPS (8477).

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