For Detective Phil Ryan of the Polk County, Florida, Sheriff’s Office, it was just another typical Thursday afternoon.
The detective was cruising around in an unmarked patrol car. He rolled into the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on Duff Road and took a spot close to the front of the building. Ryan wasn’t planning on making any arrests, but he soon saw something that he couldn’t ignore.
As Ryan sat in his car, a 38-year-old man named William Jason Hall walked into the store. His outfit wasn’t terribly flattering, but it also wasn’t that out of the ordinary. His pants were big. Not like M.C. Hammer big, but they definitely packed some extra space.
As Ryan looked on with a clear line of sight through the 7-Eleven’s front window, Hall walked down the aisle and began to fill his pants with quart bottles of Pennzoil.
An incredulous Ryan watched as Hall stuffed 15 quarts into his jeans. So that’s how big Hall’s pants were; they were 15-quart pants.
Actually, they might have been even bigger, because Hall wasn’t done filling them. Next, he tried an old shoplifter’s trick. He knocked down a display of DVDs, all marked “Treasure Hunt!” The “Treasure Hunt!” series of DVDs includes a random assortment of used films. The DVDs rest under the “last-minute gift ideas” sign.
So, Hall knocked down these low-cost DVDs. As he picked them up, he slipped them into his pants. There were 30 DVDs in all. One of them was Lassie.
How do we know this? Because the Polk County Sheriff’s Department thought the crime was so funny that they shared the story on social media. According to that post, Hall, having filled his pants to the brim, walked out of the 7-Eleven. That’s when Ryan pounced.
Tthe detective just calmly got out of his car and approached Hall.
“I don’t think so,” he said.
Then he made Hall empty the stolen goods from his pants, one at a time. The goods went back to the 7-Eleven, where hopefully they were given a good bleaching before being sent back to the shelves.
As for Hall, this Britches Bandit ended up with a charge of petit theft.
In Florida, this crime, which covers theft of property that’s valued at less than $300, is just a misdemeanor…unless it’s your third petit theft charge, in which case the state of Florida prosecutes it as a felony.
Guess how many petit theft charges the Britches Bandit already had on his record. Yep, this was his third. Hall ended up slapped with a felony charge for one of the most ridiculous crimes imaginable.
However, Hall’s misfortune resulted in some pretty hilarious surveillance footage. Watch this news report to see the guilty man sheepily removing bottle after bottle of oil from his pants. As the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said on their social media post about the incident, you can’t make this stuff up.