Suspected Candy Bar Thief Trashes Florida Convenience Store [Video]

A Florida woman who allegedly tried to steal about $11 worth of candy bars trashed a Jacksonville, Florida, convenience store after employees asked her to return the merchandise and then locked her inside when she refused.

The 10-minute episode in which the woman appeared to calmly and methodically grab food items from the shelves and drop or toss them to the floor was recorded by four surveillance cameras inside the store located at a Shell gas station. This occurred as curious customers unable to enter the store because clerks had locked the entrance gathered outside.

Cops released the footage embedded below in hopes of identifying the suspect, who is currently at large. Anyone who recognizes the suspect has been asked to contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, which posted the video to its Facebook page under the heading “Woman Destroys Store — Who is she? Please Share!” and to YouTube.

Tipsters may be eligible for a possible reward of up to $3,000 through the local Crime Stoppers organization.

So far, the video has received about 29,000 views on Facebook and another 18,000 on YouTube.

“The unidentified woman was spotted by store clerks in the Shell… stuffing candy into her purse and refused to return the bars when confronted, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said in a release. When she tried to leave, the clerk locked the door. Then the unidentified woman lost her cool,” FirstCoastNews reported.

“After the woman started smashing and throwing bottles, it appears an employee relented and unlocked the door, allowing the suspect to escape on foot,” the Smoking Gun explained.

“Multiple surveillance cameras show her begin chucking food off the shelves — chip bags, candy bars, pastries and more. She even grabbed a soda from a cooler, opened it and then poured it all over the food she’d thrown on the ground before smashing more bottles on the floor,” FirstCoastNews added about the vandalism at the Jacksonville convenience store.

Earlier this month, in another strange convenience store scuffle that included impromptu shelf emptying, a late-night co-ed brawl broke out at a Philadelphia-area Wawa convenience store. It is undetermined what prompted the ruckus at the franchise, whose slogan is “gotthahava Wawa,” but it involved several individuals delivering punches to one customer, as well as food packages being tossed on the floor. The incident was recorded by at least one cell phone camera and has been viewed about 624,000 times on social media after it was uploaded.

Separately, in a LiveLeak video that emerged, or re-emerged, in June, a woman reportedly trashed a convenience store because her Electronic Benefits Transfer card was declined. The woman, who repeatedly shouted “call the police” during the pandemonium, was forcefully escorted out of the store by employees and customers.

“The food stamp program is the largest food assistance welfare service in the country. The Department of Agriculture (USDA) administers the program in coordination with state agencies. The USDA estimates the program has increased from 17 million participants in 2000 to nearly 47 million in 2014,” the Daily Caller detailed.

Against the backdrop of chaos that occurs at fast-food eateries as well as retail stores and convenience stores across the country, usually but not always after midnight, a fundamental question is again raised: Is this kind of violence occurring with more frequency and intensity across America or, in the alternative, do we just happen to find out about it more often and faster by way of smartphones, plus the immediacy of social media?

The Shell Oil Company has about 25,000 Shell-branded gas stations throughout the U.S., most of which feature a convenience store component.

[Photo courtesy of Philafrenzy via Wikimedia Commons | Cropped and Resized | CC BY-SA 4.0]