Man with loaded gun and no permit arrested at store in The Villages

Erica Hovis
Alexander Stetz

A man with a loaded gun tucked in his waistband was arrested after he was caught stealing at a store in The Villages.

Police were called at about 2:30 p.m. to Target at Rolling Acres Plaza after 24-year-old Alexander Stetz and 39-year-old Erica Hovis were observed on surveillance video concealing items in a purse, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. Hovis went to a cash register and paid for other items, while Stetz left the store with the handbag that contained the stolen merchandise.

When police arrived on the scene, a loaded Smith & Wesson revolver was seized from Stetz’s waistband. He did not possess a concealed carry permit. Stetz told police he was “going through a hard time” and attempted to steal the merchandise because he could not afford it.

Hovis was in a Dodge Durango waiting for Stetz. A search of her purse turned up a cut straw with white powder residue determined to be Fentanyl. She was arrested on charges of possession of Fentanyl and theft. She was booked at the Lake County Jail on $2,500 bond.

Stetz was arrested on charges of possession of a concealed firearm without a permit and theft. He was booked at the jail and his bond also was set at $2,500.