Walmart theft investigation leads to arrest

Trooper Scott A Howard reported to Historic City News that following up on the report of a grand theft from Walmart on US-1 South in St Augustine, yesterday evening, he spotted the suspect vehicle, a green GMC station wagon, near the intersection of SR-206 and SR-207.

Howard says the vehicle displayed an expired tag and worn tires.

When the vehicle turned into the parking lot of a Hastings business, Howard and assisting officers conducted a felony stop and detained two male and one female occupant.

What appeared to be a handgun, later determined to be a bb-gun, and an open container of an alcoholic beverage could be plainly seen by troopers on the floor of the backseat.

When questioned, the backseat passenger provided Trooper Phillip Payne a false name; however, he was identified at the jail as 19 year-old Christopher Ely Morris who resides at 209 Spring Street in St Augustine.

Morris was booked into the St Johns County Detention Facility at 7:44 p.m. Thursday night, where he remains in lieu of $1,000 bond on charges of possession of alcohol by a person under 21 and resisting an officer; and, an additional bond of $11,000 on four active warrants in Hillsborough and Hernando counties.

Photographs of the occupants were forwarded to Walmart for video comparison; additional charges are pending as the investigation continues.

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