Surveillance Tape Shows Man Who "Forgot" Case Of Soda Is A Thief And A Liar!

Our apologies to the Brooklyn, Ohio police department. New security camera footage released by the Brooklyn police department shows that the man who claimed he “forgot” the case of pop under his shopping cart actually grabbed it on his way out of the store! Now the man admits that he lied to reporters.

Brooklyn police gave NewsChannel5 surveillance video of Sturgis at the Giant Eagle the day of his arrest.

Police said Sturgis is shown with his stepson, who was bagging the groceries at the checkout line.

But the video shows nothing beneath the cart. Sturgis paid for the groceries in the cart, but police said as he left the store, he stopped at the pop display in the vestibule, loading his cart with Pepsi.

He then left without paying for the new additions to his cart, police said.

Brooklyn Chief Mark Tenaglia said that security video shows Sturgis using a self-checkout with no items on the bottom of his cart.

Tenaglia said a second video camera shows Sturgis loading six 12-packs of Pepsi into his cart before he exited the store. The total value of the soda was $21.54 with tax.

Sturgis was arrested and charged with petty theft.

He told NewsChannel5, “It was a total lie. I did try to steal the Pepsi at Giant Eagle.” Sturgis also said that he plans to plead guilty at his arraignment.

Oh, shoplifter guy. Why did you lie to the media? The truth will always come out. The Consumerist apologizes to the Brooklyn, Ohio police department for teasing them and hopes we can remain friends. Congratulations on preventing pop theft in your area.


Surveillance Shows Man Taking Pop After Store Check-Out
[NewsChannel5]

UPDATE: Consumerist has sent the following email to the Brooklyn, Ohio police department.

Dear Chief Tenaglia,

We picked up the story about the pop thief and thought it had been more thoroughly vetted by the news station that sent it to us. In retrospect, I feel my teasing was pretty mean and I hope the Brooklyn police department will accept my apology.

Stopping crime is awesome. Keep up the good work.

-Meg

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. petrarch1608 says:

    I hope this gets as much coverage as the original story.

  2. NightSteel says:

    Wal-mart shouldn’t have left the soda in a place where it could tempt someone to steal it!

    /blame the victim

  3. Traveshamockery says:

    I think all the commenters yesterday who claimed the arresting police officer should be fired owe him/her a public apology in this comments section.

  4. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    Idiot.

  5. Dumbass. You can get away with 1 case, but 6? Thats just greedy…

  6. scoosdad says:

    @NightSteel: Who said anything about this taking place at a Wal-Mart? Read the article, it’s in the first sentence of the quote, for crying out loud.

    /RTFA

  7. NightSteel says:

    (Yes, I realized it wasn’t Wal-mart about two seconds after I hit submit. The guy sounds like a future Wal-mart shopper though, doesn’t he?)

  8. winstonthorne says:

    Why steal soda?

  9. NightSteel says:

    @scoosdad: What can I say? I was in such a rush to blame the victim, my better sense took leave of me. *hangs head in shame*

  10. ? graffiksguru says:

    I fuckin knew it! I so wanted to blame the guy the other day, but he actually spent $150 on groceries, so I figured why would he jack a case of soda, and I held back my urge to blame his ass. Should’ve listened to my gut.

  11. ClayS says:

    This is common on the Consumerist…an article posted in which we hear only one side of the story.

    I’m certainly surprised by the actual facts in this case, but in many other articles, I have the feeling that we don’t have all the information.

    Kudos to Meg however for publishing this followup and an apology to the police.

  12. mgy says:

    WAY TO BLAME THE VICTIM CONSUMERIST! I’M NEVER READING AGAIN. HARUMPH.

  13. Dobernala says:

    heheh

    Well, Mr. Policeman, I apologize for making disparaging remarks about you earlier. Thanks for doing your job.

  14. catcherintheeye says:

    @InfiniTrent: I agree – particularly people who insisted he be sued, fired, or, in one case “shot out of a cannon”.

  15. scoosdad says:

    @NightSteel: Nah, Wal-Mart has real receipt checkers at the door. [ducking]

  16. Traveshamockery says:

    Ironically, the victim initially WAS blamed here – the victim was the store!

  17. This goes to prove that people who scream at people who “blame” the “victim” should remember there are three sides to every story. The one parties, the other parties, and the truth.

  18. rasdsm says:

    @InfiniTrent: I’d like to see that as well, but chances are nobody remembers today. I mean, c’mon, that was yesterday.

  19. Buran says:

    @InfiniTrent: Not necessarily. Those comments were believed accurate by the posters given the information that was available. It’s not the posters’ fault that they were lied to, thanks to this guy’s lack of morals.

    Similiarly, those comments that state that prosecuting someone over a mistake remain true because those posters, too, believed that this was a mistake, not a deliberate crime.

    However, given past transgressions by this PD (as someone pointed out, wasn’t this where a past story took place as well?), I’m not so sure I’d want to be “friends”.

  20. Who steals soda? Now premium beer, that’s a different story

  21. rmz says:

    @InfiniTrent:

    I think all the commenters yesterday who claimed the arresting police officer should be fired owe him/her a public apology in this comments section.

    Absolutely agreed. This is one of those cases where the truth needs to be heard just as widely as the original (falsified) story.

  22. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I hope the internet didn’t do what it often does, which is call the police department like a bunch of children and harass them. I’ve read of this being done in some cases (which, when justified, let to possitive results such as officers who assault children being suspended w/o pay)…but because so many are quick to blame everyone for everything I hope this police department didn’t get calls from angry interneters.

  23. Oh and to piss the PC people off, QuickTime Player FTW.

  24. AnderBobo says:

    Sometimes stores just make it so tempting to steal with they way the setup merchandise. Why place items by the exit where patrons have already paid for their items? Is a 3/$1.00 deal on Hershey bars really going to get them to turn around and go thru the checkout process again?

    Also, so many stores have tables of merch setup OUTSIDE the store, with apparantly nobody monitoring said table. Most of the time it is junk nobody would really want, but still, klepto’s dream.

    • Rena says:

      I’ve often said the same about donation bins. If I could see them on the way in, I’d be reminded to pick up something for them. A lot of them are just at the exit, so I see them on the way out and think “oh, well I’ve already checked out… I should pick up something next time.”

  25. Munsoned says:

    Oh snap!

  26. Buran says:

    @ClayS: And yet there have been many stories when company responses are later posted, once they arrive. Many companies also won’t respond to requests for comment or in any other way, which is why they end up here.

  27. rawsteak says:

    do you know how we could stop this from happening again? maybe the walmart people should check receipts before people leave the stores. then they would be able to see right away that people take stuff even after they pay for them.

    waaaaaaaaaaaait a minute!!

    EDIT 1: I need to research this. Apparently, this happens already, but people claim it to be BS. I will do research, no one say anything.

    EDIT 2: As you can tell, there’s no such thing as edits. still, for all the slow people, this is sarcasm and irony at its best.

  28. Buran says:

    @Buran: add “WAS a mistake” after “over a mistake”, sorry.

  29. @rawsteak: Why are you dragging WalMart into a story about Giant Eagle?

  30. Traveshamockery says:

    @Buran: “Not necessarily. Those comments were believed accurate by the posters given the information that was available. It’s not the posters’ fault that they were lied to, thanks to this guy’s lack of morals.”

    If you were accused of some crime, and everyone calls you to be jailed, or executed, or worse, and then it comes out that the accusation is all a lie, you certainly would deserve an apology.

    I realize they were using the information available at the time, but we should be more restrained in our judgments, realizing that with gatekeepers like the police and the media in place, we might not be getting the whole story initially.

  31. Blueskylaw says:

    Three dollars and fifty nine cents for a 12 pack is not a really good deal, I can buy if for $2.50.

  32. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    @Buran: Perhaps the real issue is rushing to judgement of who’s wrong and who’s right when there’s a perfectly capable legal system designed to do just that.

    And the arbitration clauses that bypasses that system. /snort

  33. Erwos says:

    I’m going to be linking this post in response to every “waah waah don’t blame the victim!” post I see, methinks.

  34. Buran says:

    @InfiniTrent: Oh, those who actually did nothing wrong deserve it — from the party who misrepresented the situation. The commenters couldn’t have done anything other than use the information they were given.

    That said, who’s the one who tried to mislead everyone?

    The man. HE is the one who needs to apologize.

  35. SOhp101 says:

    Wow, this guy definitely needs to be prosecuted. Kinda reminds me of the (recent) story of the girl that made an anti-immigration sign and claimed she was bullied and her life was threatened. Turned out that she made the scratches on herself (caught on school cameras) and lied to the media.

  36. scoosdad says:

    @rawsteak: EDIT 3: You need to research this. It wasn’t Wal-Mart.

  37. that was certainly an unexpected twist

  38. Erwos says:

    @AnderBobo: Wow, you win the “justifying theft” award for the week, I think.

  39. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    So he is a jerk for bringing way too much stuff through a self checkout lane and a thief.

  40. Buran says:

    @Applekid: True. And we need to get that Aribtration Fairness Act passed. Pronto.

  41. mantari says:

    {facepalm.jpg}

  42. bohemian says:

    Why do stores still insist on putting merchandise like this on the outside portion of the store past the registers? It is confusing and prone to shoplifting. Maybe Giant Eagle will cease putting product in the doorway now.

    The guy who lied and got a ton of media attention is a total moron. He could have had a petty theft charge and little or no publicity about the fact that he is a stupid petty thief. Now he has a petty theft charge AND the whole world knows he is an idiot.

  43. legwork says:

    To: Brooklyn PD
    Subject: The recent storm of undeserved abuse

    I didn’t say anything before but I sure was thinking it. My apologies for that. But in the words of dear departed dad, “I’m sure you did something else to deserve it.”

  44. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Buran: Of course the guy needs to apologize. However, we’ve seen multiple times on this site where one side of the story is shown and everyone jumps to a judgment — then later the other side replies and suddenly it’s not so clear what actually happened.

    Especially when it comes to something as seemingly ludicrous as a guy being jailed for forgetting a case of soda. As hard as it may be for many to believe we are, for the most part, rational people. If something seems really ludicrous, and you’re obviously only getting one side of the story, then it’s pertinent to hold back judgment some until more information comes out. Too often, we fail to do that.

  45. AnderBobo says:

    @Erwos: I’m not justifying theft, I’m just saying if somebody is inclined to steal, why make it that much easier for them?

  46. landsnark says:

    @Buran: I personally feel like readers (including me) have a little responsibility to be skeptical and look at the evidence. I at least am a little embarrassed that I rushed to judgement sided with the shoplifty guy. /shame

  47. bonzombiekitty says:

    @discounteggroll: I didn’t find it so unexpected. When I read the story, my initial thought was “I bet the guy really did try to steal it”

  48. ab3i says:

    @winstonthorne: why ‘steal’ anything? seriously!

  49. DeafChick says:

    Well shit.

  50. crabbyman6 says:

    Clearly that soda(aka pop) being by the door with the cop outside was entrapment. :)

  51. Traveshamockery says:

    @ab3i: “why ‘steal’ anything? seriously!”

    I knew a rough fellow once who was kind of wild but he HATED theft.

    “That’s what money’s for,” he’d say. I tend to agree!

  52. snoop-blog says:

    well did anyone else have a problem with the site a second ago? i was scared, all my friends were like gone then the page wouldn’t load. why must you taunt me consumerist!!!!!

  53. snoop-blog says:

    hey i can’t blame the guy here. coke is serious stuff. that’s what a $4 per day coke habit will do to you. next thing you know, instead of stealing it, he’ll be turning trix to get his fix.

  54. warf0x0r says:

    How can I reeech these keeeds

  55. Munsoned says:

    Still funny: yesterday’s photo which labeled him as a “criminal mastermind.”

    At first it was funny because everyone thought he had been unfairly arrested.

    Now it’s funny because his crime was so dimwitted.

    Stealing $20 worth of soda after paying $150 in groceries? You’ve got to be kidding me!

  56. mantari says:

    Well, you got to give it to Wal-Mart.
    They treated this one “seriously”.

  57. moore850 says:

    So one more time, why is having to show a receipt not equivalent to proving that you made the purchase? Why shouldn’t retailers be allowed to check receipts? The privilege of walking around in the store comes at the price that before you exit with items, you may be asked to show that you actually paid for the items in some way… duh.

  58. Dobernala says:

    We jumped to judgment because its perfectly believable.
    There are so many crooked and arrogant cops out that one can easily imagine it happening. Its not at all far-fetched.

  59. Hawk07 says:

    @Dobernala:

    Reminds me of a many “Bush/Cheney did _____!!!!” stories that float on the Internet and use a similar justification. Becuase it could happen, we might as well just believe it.

  60. Buran says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I’m not arguing with that; I’m saying that the commenters don’t need to apologize as they weren’t the ones who misled anyone — that’s all.

    Sadly, businesses can and have done stupid things like go after people over a few dollars — for example, incessant bills demanding ten cents or similar amounts. So there’s no reason to think this story anything less than entirely real, and no reason to assume lying.

  61. Milstar says:

    Did I not say in the last post that this is the type of theft that is so often ignored/gotten away with because you see them buy a lot and assume they won’t or don’t steal. Buying lots of things and stealing a little bit is the perfect cover.

    And all you people saying blame the store, blame the rent a cop/security. Happens all the time people wake up! Why spend an extra 4,10 of 20.00 when you can get it for free.

  62. gmss0205 says:

    Ha! I said it earlier in the week that we shouldn’t just take his word for it. He stole something. Plain and simple. He should be punished.

  63. Buran says:

    @moore850: For the ten billionth time.

    They MAY ASK.

    They may NOT demand.

    They may NOT detain you just for saying no.

  64. snoop-blog says:

    receipt checking is total bullshit. it was there own layout flaw that made it possible. the guy didn’t walk back through the store. how much since does it make to put items for sale in-between the register and the door?

    besides just because some people can’t be trusted, doesn’t mean we get to imply marshall law on shoppers. i don’t steal, and don’t want to be harrassed by a receipt checker.

  65. morganlh85 says:

    @ClayS: It seems that Consumerist was only going on the information they had…the article clearly says the man in question LIED to reporters, saying that he had forgotten about the soda when he in fact stole it. That’s not Consumerist’s fault, nor could they have found out the man was lying on their own, since it was not revealed until later.

  66. snoop-blog says:

    @morganlh85: i’ve never thought of the consumerist (or any source) as the holy oracle of knowledge. you can’t always believe everything you hear (or read) even if you read it off the consumerist.

  67. Parting says:

    I kind of suspected, that it wasn’t the whole story. If the store proceeds to arrest… Well, that a good news. At least we know that we can visit the store, without getting arrested for a HONEST mistake.

    @Buran: Only wanted the cop fired/killed/sued. That’s not very civilized. Nor it’s polite. And those who did write that, yes, they MUST apologize. Since they are the ones who taunted the officer.

  68. sgodun says:

    So, are all those Consumerist visitors who hate it when the ‘victim’ is at fault now going to come out and apologize for being dicks? Just wondering.

  69. Parting says:

    @legwork: Let’s burn your car. I’m sure you did something to deserve it in the past, too.

  70. Parting says:

    @sgodun: You wish, just look at commenters like legwork .

  71. snoop-blog says:

    this is quite the coke bust! -sorry i just couldn’t help my cheesy self.

  72. veterandem says:

    Alas, I must confess I was wrong. There, that wasn’t so hard. Stoopid Liar!

  73. jerros says:

    In this situation it looks like the guy was actually attempting to steal the soda. Still I don’t like the extent that stores go to with their “No Tolerance” policies. Innocent people with no intention of stealing anything can on occasion get distracted and forget that they stuck something in their pants pocket to keep it away from the kid in the cart, or because they ran out of room in the hand basket.

    While I realize it’s hard to prove intent, it seems to me that if a persons being watched by security they could just as easily walk up and say “Hey you going to pay for that gum you put in your pocket?” just as easily as confronting you after you’ve exited the store.

  74. Toof_75_75 says:

    “Congratulations on preventing pop theft in your area.” HAHA

  75. Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg says:

    @moore850:

    Why shouldn’t retailers be allowed to check receipts?

    They ARE allowed to ask for a receipt. Just as I’m allowed to refuse. Because absent a criminal investigation, I’m under no obligation to justify or prove ownership of my property to anyone.

    The privilege of walking around in the store comes at the price that before you exit with items, you may be asked to show that you actually paid for the items in some way…

    And the privilege of operating a business in the this country comes at the price that the only authority you have over a customer is to refuse to do business with them, or ask them to leave your store.

    So when you ask people to “show that [they] actually paid” before they exit you have to accept the fact that they can say no and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

  76. ConsumptionJunkie says:

    Why is shoplifting even a crime?

    In some European countries, shoplifting has been de-criminalized.

  77. @Munsoned: Or maybe it was really smart. He used the fact that he had bought $150 of groceries as his way of making him seem as though he was an honest man. Had it not been for the camera, the media would have just ate his “I’m an honest man that paid hundreds of dollars and made a mistake” alibi.

  78. ZekeSulastin says:

    @ConsumptionJunkie: Uhm … what?

    Why is stealing product from a business a crime? I wonder … could it be because it is theft? I’m not entirely sure I would WANT to live in any countries where stealing is legal.

  79. Imaginary_Friend says:

    [www.ewinetasting.com]

    I’d like to continue the snobby pretentiousness of the previous candy and coffee threads by stating that American Pepsi is pisswater.

    That customer is not a thief. He’s a Freedom Fighter, saving his fellow Americans from the menace of carb bloat and the vomitous flavor of high fructose corn syrup.

    Well played, Sir. Well played.

  80. lemur says:

    @Git Em SteveDave: I have problems with people who blame the victim without a good reason. I also have problems with people who absolve the guilty without a good reason. Good reasons are backed up by actual evidence. It is the lack of good reason that annoys me. I realize not everybody agrees on what a “good reason” is.

  81. MykalBloom says:

    Thanks for saying pop at the end. Not soda.

  82. snoop-blog says:

    i find it odd that they would pull the tapes over a case of coke. when my car got hit in their parking lot, they refused to pull the tape.

  83. snoop-blog says:

    @MykalBloom: herr in the midwest, we call everything coke. even when it’s pepsi, although we don’t call it a pepsi-coke which there are parts of the u.s. that do.

  84. lemur says:

    @InfiniTrent: but we should be more restrained in our judgments,

    Quite true.

  85. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn… the tale of the tape!

  86. deedrit says:

    Should have heard both sides. Just listened to the liar who actually does look like someone I would see on the show COPS.

    This soda stealing, liar should be dressed up in a chicken suit and made to stand outside the store to carry peoples’ groceries.

  87. scoopy says:

    Bring back the death penalty.

  88. scoopy says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: SO TRUE! I only drink soda/pop from EUROPE! The soda/coffee/candy in America is horrendous! Yikes!

  89. GrandizerGo says:

    I am waiting for Ashton Kuthcer to jump out and say he punked the Consumerist!

  90. GrandizerGo says:

    And why would you put soda PAST the registers????
    Thats what I want to do! Buy my groceries, pay for them, go through the exit doors and then see more stuff I want to buy! Pick it up, go around to the entrance to the store, get BACK in line and repay for the new items!!!

    I know my Home Depot does this as well…

  91. hi says:

    Like I said in my original post: This man should be tazed and sent to Guantánamo where he should be treated for his soda stealing disease.

  92. Tzepish says:

    Criminal mastermind apprehended afterall!

    What a dickfor.

  93. Xerloq says:

    It’s too bad the dude didn’t lie about this under oath. Right now he’s just a liar, though I would have preferred he had perjured himself, been fined heftily, and gone to jail.

    Oh well. The media will run him through the ringers, he’ll get community service, and write a book.

    Justice.

  94. Tzepish says:

    @snoop-blog: Maybe they pulled the tapes because of the the sleazebag’s lies and the media’s response to the whole case. Even though the soda-thief turned out to be a douchebag, I couldn’t help but feel relief at seeing this story; a fundamental failure of common sense did not occur, after all.

  95. mentir says:

    I love that a few of the commenters, even knowing the actual facts of the story, are now blaming the store for “tempting” the thief after he’d already paid for his groceries.

  96. lpranal says:

    The truth will always come out.

    Oh, consumerist, sweet, naive consumerist. Were truth but a drop a in an ocean of ignorance and lies, such a dreamer’s dream.

  97. mariospants says:

    You know, this just confirms my conviction that there are two sides to every story and that you can only believe 20-50% of what you read (no offense, consumerist, I still love you unreservedly).

    Recently I witnessed a lady and her kids and husband steal a DVD at Costco: she gave the DVD to the kid during checkout while the staff was occupied and had the kid carry it to the exit. While her big husband blocked the way, she stripped and palmed the cellophane from the DVD and gave the box back to the kid. While the husband interacted with the only checker (end of day) she passed the exit and threw the cellophane into the trash right under the nose of the checker. Now, there is a 25% chance that they passed the DVD through the cash as the first item and I missed that part, but I doubt it. The kicker is that they drove away in a new BMWX5 with 19″ rims… fuckers!

  98. HaloZero says:

    Consumerist should compile our emails into a big “sorry” email to the Ohio Police Department.

    Sorry, we gotta be careful to be quick to judge things.

  99. ? graffiksguru says:

    @snoop-blog: My guess is because its gotten media attention.

  100. mariospants says:

    @AnderBobo: “I’m not justifying theft, I’m just saying if somebody is inclined to steal, why make it that much easier for them?”

    Because they’re performing a public service: it’s obvious they’re watching the item very carefully and thanks to their easy-to-steal display, scratch one thief.

  101. lonewolf333 says:

    That cop was a witch ! Fire him !

  102. mariospants says:

    Ironically, if he HAD stuffed one case under his cart before going thru the cash he probably would have gotten away with it.

    Oh man, I recommend re-reading what the douchebag thief of drinks/soda/pop/cansofcarbonatedfluid said. It makes for hilarious reading once you compare against the facts.

  103. Caduceus says:

    >loading six 12-packs of Pepsi

    Wow! That’s a lot of soda!

  104. snoop-blog says:

    is this the same guy who steals the rock salt, mulch, and washer fluid that sit out by the gas pumps?

  105. JollyJumjuck says:

    Now thanks to this lying thief, more innocent victims will get blamed on Consumerist because some readers will automatically assume the victim is actually lying. “Dell shipped some guy a laptop with pubes? Preposterous! The pubes were probably his and he planted them!”

  106. rjhiggins says:

    @Buran: That’s a lame excuse. Commenters were jumping to conclusions and suggesting EECB’s against the city and the supermarket (which was done), based on a decided lack of knowledge of the entire story. Saying “that’s all the knowledge I had a the time” is no excuse.

    And once again Consumerist should be embarrassed. I wonder if they’re taking yet another screwup seriously.

  107. coopjust says:

    I believe that making this story front page (including the “LIAR!”) is a sign that the Consumerist wants to report honestly. They could have never mentioned this, or made it a small story. Instead, they put a humble apology. I think that the Consumerist did the right thing.

  108. Veeber says:

    @GrandizerGo: My asian market has all the rice beyond the register. When you go to the checkout you say “I want the 50lb bag of pink” They ring you up, and on you’re way out you pick up your bag. It means I don’t have to lug this 50lb bag all through the store while I pickup other items.

  109. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @mariospants: If you had been at Walmart, I could understand you just standing there and watching them get away with that, but at our beloved Costco? Shame on you! I would’ve roller derby slammed the whole family with my cart and sat on them until the cops got there for Costco.

  110. KD17 says:

    This makes a whole hell of a lot more sense then what was first thought.

  111. azntg says:

    I’m not going to retract my previous comment on the other article since I made a pretty broad statement without stating my conclusion. I still believe that punishments should be proportional to the crime.

    In Sturgis’ case, the arrest seems to be justified enough since he did seem to have intent to steal plus he lied to the public. With that said, sharp eye, officer.

    @Git Em SteveDave: How does Quicktime piss the PC users off? It’s a bloated, overrated software and video system but just about every.

    @GrandizerGo: It must be a trap by the police or a deliberate test of your morals.

    @mariospants: There may be more than two sides of a story. That’s a media (and cultural) bias to automatically assume that there’s only there’s only two.

  112. Buran says:

    @Victo: Why? If I have an opinion about something based on all the information I have at the time I form the opinion, why should I be sorry for having the opinion? If you tell me the sky is green and I form an opinion shaped by that fact, and don’t know that you’re wrong (and nor do you, for whatever reason) and you were actively misled, why is it my fault that my opinion was correct?

    It’s not, nor is it your fault, because someone actively misled you. I don’t retract opinions that were correct as far as I knew at the time they were formed and I don’t apologize for having them, either. It wasn’t our direct actions that led to the incorrect opinions.

  113. Buran says:

    @rjhiggins: It’s plenty of ‘excuse’. It’s a very plausible story, as I and others have already explained.

    If the store wants to blame anyone, it needs to blame the guy who actively deceived them, the police, and the media. If the store wants to complain that some were quick to side with the man, it should look at other businesses that spoiled it for them with irresponsible actions.

  114. rjhiggins says:

    @Buran: You can form all the opinions you want; I don’t care. But there is such a thing as an informed opinion, which is one I might actually want to listen to.

    Consumerist took its action (casting aspersions on the police) and commenters took theirs (spreading e-mail addresses and phone numbers encouraging people to take action) based on very little information. You may make excuses for them, but I won’t.

  115. rbdfoxes says:

    I blame the news station peoples.

  116. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @rjhiggins I think the larger issue is that so many people were completely ready to believe the original story without proof. That’s terribly sad and speaks volumes for the state of the average American’s mind these days.

    Someone made a good point in another thread about people just feeling besieged from every angle these days: the toothless FDA allowing poisoned toys and food into our homes, Big Oil’s profiteering, the RIAA perverting the courts, GWB making a mockery of our rights, our government’s illegal wiretapping of its own citizens, jobs being shipped overseas, the filthy swines gaming the mortgage, banking, and stock market industries, health insurance companies that routinely deny patients the legitimate care that they paid for and deserve, and a corrupt congress and president that smirk and look the other way while we get dogpiled by the shameless greed of powerful global corporations.

    Under the circumstances, is it really a stretch to believe an indignant store owner and overzealous cops arrested a guy for forgetting to pay for some soda?

    If this had happened ten years ago, nobody would’ve believed that guy for a second. Nowadays, people believe a story like this in a heartbeat.

  117. radio1 says:

    Perhaps those of you who called the cop and the police force of that town idiots should apologize?

  118. Trai_Dep says:

    Yeah, shame on Consumerist for not having a crack team of verifying reports stationed at JFK next to the Gawker Media fleet of private jets, to personally interview every party in a story that appears here.

    Geezus, whiners. Create your own blog and leave us alone.

    PS: nice to see the Gawker weblords are working to allow us to post images on the fly, while still leaving us stranded as far as weeding out trolls. Great sense of priorities, Nick!

  119. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Federal pound me in the ass prison…make room for this doosh!

  120. StevieD says:

    Finally, a story that reveals ticket checking at the door really does work.

    Job well done by the store and local PD.

    Thank you Consumerist editors for admitting your prior mistake.

  121. StevieD says:

    And to the local media, your failure to properly review the facts in the case before releasing your newstory is the cause of the Consumerist error.

    Somebody at the local media should be looking for new employment.

  122. ninjatales says:

    The chief wants to pop you in the head.

  123. j3s says:

    Quit calling it pop, you freaks.

  124. Clsmooth says:

    I bet this jack off stole more then just the soda. I mean think about it, who buys 2 carts worth of stuff and goes through self checkout. The soda was just the most blatant thing that got him caught.

    This guy was caught stealing with his son in tow, that just shows how much of a jack off he is.

  125. MyEasyTV says:

    what an incredible stupid thing to do, steal pop of all things – it’s about $5-6 dollars..is that really worth going through trial over?

  126. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    The suspect was also quoted as saying “And I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling kids and your stupid dog!”

    Seriously, comments are based on what people think are the facts, so DUH..of course people would be ragging on the cops because they assumed everything they read was absolutely true.

    Mr. Sturgis, you are a first class douchebag. Could we have a public stoning?

  127. Parting says:

    @Buran: If your opinion was spoken/written out loud and insulting. Then you have to apologize to the person you insulted. Or you’re worse douchebag than the original liar. Words can hurt a lot, too.

    I’ll give you an extreme example : it’s like screaming at a women that she is a whore, only to discover that she was abused by the person who lied initially.
    Initial guilt is on the liar, but ”your” actions based on your opinion are insulting and damaging to the real victim. As a human, apology should be provided.

    (However, when you keep your opinion to yourself, then your thoughts are yours.)

  128. Parting says:

    @MyEasyTV: Well, he already said that he pleads guilty, so no trial.

    I’d ”award” him with several hours of community work, so at least he’ll do something useful. Or maybe a fine.

  129. Parting says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: In most police departments, arresting someone, means hours of writing up reports. (Which clogs the system for small crimes, especially that peace officers has to ”presume” the crime in the paperwork, even if the criminal was caught red-handed). So arresting someone for a 12 pack of coke could be done, but it would mean a lot of after arrest ”composing”.

  130. Tank says:

    what a cock. hope he ends up someone’s prison bitch.

  131. dezeinstein says:

    Meg,

    With your permission, I’d like to put
    ‘Stopping crime is awesome. Keep up the good work.’ on a bumper sticker.

    Lemme know if that’s okay.

    D

  132. iamacyborg says:

    I think most cops can tell when someone amateur is stealing something just based on their movements and facial expression.

    On the other hand – it’s amazing how invisible you are when you’re not intentionally trying to steal something. Today I was to the door of the convenience store when I realized I hadn’t paid for my drink in my hand at the back register like I usually do. I walked past the front counter / security guy, no problem. (I went back and paid for it.)

  133. a says:

    Wow, could Consumerist’s apology have sounded any more condescending and patronizing?

    You could also pat them on the head and say, “Who’s a good widdle cop?! You are! YOU ARE!”

  134. ConsumerAdvocacy1010 says:

    Wow, I called for the store and the police department to be sued.

    My bad. A good reminder to not jump the gun.

  135. kyle4 says:

    Oh Meg, you’re so awesome.

    Glad the real story got out.

  136. Bill Brasky says:

    OK:

    Judging from what information was available to me at the time, I was inclined to believe the man that was arrested. Now that I have all of the information, I am not.

    I apologize profusely for my comments about the officer. I was wrong.

  137. stinerman says:

    Well, I’m still not sorry for calling it “pop” rather than “soda”.

  138. Mary says:

    Bad angry comment: “WTH, that cop should be fired immediately! And the victim should sue for all he’s worth! Those jerks!”

    Good comment: “If the police department did behave this badly, the offending officer’s actions need to be looked at. If he arrested somebody for this, then he shouldn’t be working there anymore.”

    You don’t even have to be so nice in the good comment, you just should maybe think to say “IF” and realize that who cares what information is available at the time? Ignorance is no excuse. Everybody who read that story knew that the police hadn’t made a statement to confirm or deny. So you knew just as well that you didn’t have the whole story.

  139. Alan Thomas says:

    As often happens, ‘outraged’ comments are about as sophisticated as “mean people suck”.

  140. AtomicPlayboy says:

    Hopefully the rush to judgment on the original post has chastened those among us who automatically assume an offensive posture when we hear even manifestly dubious stories. Let’s take it easy for a while, lest we be (correctly) marginalized as a bunch of witch hunters, yeah?

  141. Rode2008 says:

    Upon reading the prior post, I quickly reached the conclusion that it was the soda company’s fault. BigPop (just like Big Oil and Big Pharm) is the obvious culprit here. Its victims? (1) the shopper, who became subliminally manipulated by the packaging of the soda (what with all those subliminal embeds – few know this, but most packages of sode had a hidden “Please steal me” message. The idea is that otherwise decent people will be persuaded to steal, thereby causing the retailer to have to buy more soda. Another victim (2) is the retailer – which, of course, lost money on the soda. Yet another victim (3) is the police officer – who had to bear the wrath of people like us who misjudged the case.

    BigPop is to blame, the sobs. Boycott soda – save a good police officer’s reputation,

  142. Rode2008 says:
  143. ELC says:

    I love how it says he’s with his step son. Great example there “dad” – idiot! “No, it’s okay son – as long as you don’t get caught.” Moron!

  144. Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

    Reminds me of one of my workers. Couldn’t come to work Monday because he was in jail… for shoplifting a 20# bag of dog food. I asked him “Why?”
    “cuz my pit bull pups were hungry”
    “But you got paid on Friday!”
    “Yeah, but I spent it all on weeeeeeeed”

    Apparently, a cashier saw him grab it on the way out. Those were entertaining days with the crew of low-life’s and their Greek tragedies. So many stories.

  145. Eli the Ice Man says:

    If they had a receipt checker this would never have happened.

    *puts on flamesuit*

  146. Greely says:

    Jn, y gnrnt slt! Bggd-t, drd-p, slnkn mt lk y nd Mchll Trl knw th rls. f y wnt cntrct, sgn n th dttd ln. h, bt lt’s ll shd tr fr pr Mchll Trl. Thr ws nl tstmn tht sh hd sxl ntrcrs vr frt tms wth nthr mn whl lvng wth ctr L Mrvn. Bt spps tht srt f fshnbl prmsctng mns nthng t smn lk y, Jn, wh hps frm bd t bd wth th frqnc f chp hm rd. Bt hll hth n fr lk wmn’s scrn, nd Mchll Trl, lk scrchng, sqlng, rptts swmp sw s ftr ctr L Mrvn’s lst thr mlln dllrs. gss wht y nd Mchll r syng s tht whn y’r n yr bcks, th mtr s rnnng. Wll, pls spr s, gls, nd tll s th rts t th tp. Thn w cn chs whch tw bt trts nd brgn bsmnt slts t shck p wth.