Fort Pierce Dollar Tree thief holes up in attic, police sayNovember 3rd, 2009 by TCPalm.com
FORT PIERCE — A man accused of stealing dozens of frozen meals, candy bars, bathroom tissue, tea and other items from a Dollar Tree store was arrested after secreting himself in an attic, according to a police report released Tuesday.
About 8:40 p.m. Monday, police responded to an address in the 800 block of Sunrise Boulevard where a woman in the area said a man approached her and asked whether she wanted to purchase some frozen foods. The woman said the man’s name was “Tom” and that he lived in a nearby apartment.
“Tom stated he took the items from the Dollar Tree and needed to get rid of some of it,” the report states.
The woman declined the food sales offer and called the landlord.
The landlord told police that “Tom,” identified as Thomas Eugene Gaydos, also approached her about the frozen foods. She said he left some of the items on her doorstep.
Meanwhile, police reviewed video from Dollar Tree, which they said showed Gaydos pilfering boxes from the store over a 30- to 45-minute span.
Officers surrounded Gaydos’ apartment in the 800 block of Sunrise Boulevard and residents of surrounding apartments were asked to leave.
When officers knocked, Gaydos’ 21-year-old daughter and a 45-year-old female friend came out the back.
The 45-year-old friend said Gaydos was hiding in the attic and “was not going to give up,” the report states.
Officers said when they finally got Gaydos down, he told them he went in the store and took the boxes. They said he told them the frozen food was in his apartment’s freezer and refrigerator, while other items were in the closet and living room.
The report lists the stolen items as 72 frozen meals, 12 bottles of tea, 48 candy bars, 24 batteries, 21 rolls of bathroom tissue and some gift wrap.
Police said they also found a shotgun that was stolen out of Stuart. The barrel had been cut to a length shorter than is permitted without undergoing a lengthy federal approval process, they said.
Gaydos faces charges including burglary, petit theft, grand larceny of firearm, resisting an officer without violence and possession of a short-barreled shotgun.
Will Greenlee, TCPalm.com