43-year-old Villager jailed after caught with hand in tip jar at popular pizzeria

Scott Robert Kerster

A Villager with a hefty criminal record was jailed Wednesday night after he admitted to ripping off money from a tip jar at a Summerfield pizzeria.

Marion County sheriff’s deputies were called to Little Joey’s Italian Restaurant, located at 16840 S U.S. Hwy. 27/441 in the Baylee Plaza, and when they arrived, the owner said a heavy-set white man wearing an orange shirt and black pants – later identified as 43-year-old Village of Chatham resident Scott Robert Kerster – had grabbed money from the tip jar on the counter and placed it in his right pants pocket. He said Kerster, who is 5-foot-11-inches tall, weighs 450 pounds and also goes by Scott Fudge, attempted to take more money from the jar before a clerk came around a corner and saw him, a sheriff’s office report states.

The owner confronted Kerster and he gave him back one $10 bill. But he refused to return the remaining $7 and left the eatery, the report says.
Deputies reviewed video surveillance of the incident and reported seeing Kerster looking at the tip jar as the clerk walked away and then grabbing several dollars and placing it into his right pocket. An overhead view revealed that Kerster took a $10 bill, a $5 bill and two $1 bills, the report says.

After one of the deputies recognized Kerster and said he had dealt with him several times in the past, they responded to his Villages residence at 17416 SE 74th Seabrook Ct. Kerster was just finishing eating his food from Little Joey’s and was wearing the same clothes as the surveillance video portrayed, the report says.

After being read his rights, Kerster admitted to taking the money from the tip jar and said he had returned a $10 bill. He refused to say where the other $7 was and claimed he had spoken to the owner “who advised that all was good” and he didn’t want to press charges – a claim that was quickly denied.

Kerster was taken into custody and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he was charged with larceny/petit theft (third or subsequent offense). He was released Thursday on his own recognizance and is due in court April 28 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge.

Kerster is no stranger to the tri-county legal system, having been held in local jails 12 times since January 2005. He has been in the Marion County Jail 10 times on a variety of charges that include – some more than once – having no valid driver’s license, petit theft, felony petit theft, grand theft, fraudulent use of identification, criminal use of personal identification, burglary and criminal mischief. He was convicted of petit theft (third or subsequent offense) on Oct. 6, 2015 and served one year in the Marion County Jail.

Kerster also has a record in Lake County, where he has twice been arrested. The latest came in February 2012 when he was charged with a probation violation. Prior to that, he was arrested in April 2010 and charged with larceny/theft (between $300 and $5,000).

More Headlines

Softball players caravan to fallen teammate’s home in The Villages

More than 100 friends and fellow softball players caravanned Saturday morning to the home of their fallen teammate in The Villages. Villages-News.com's David Towns was there.

P.F. Chang’s Villages application still on file despite pandemic peril

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s application for a restaurant in The Villages remains on file with the state, despite the chain’s struggle in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

Photos

Gorgeous Morning At Lake Sumter Landing

Check out this gorgeous morning at Lake Sumter Landing. Thanks to Joan Tillinger for sharing! Share your local photos with us at https://villages-news.com/contact-us!

Alligator Poking Head Out Of Water At Fenney Nature Trail

Remember, just because you can't see him doesn't mean he can't see you! Check out this alligator spotted at Fenney Nature Trail. Thanks to...

Great Blue Heron Swallowing A Very Large Catfish

Check out this great blue heron swallowing a very large catfish near Lopez Ashley Meadows #2. Thanks to Garry Kolb for sharing! Share your local...

Letters to the Editor

Not wearing a face mask during pandemic is disrespectful

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter resident says that not wearing a mask is disrespectful to all medical personnel and all people with underlying conditions.

Business

Lake County to hold webinar on tips for government bidding  

The Lake County Office of Procurement Services invites interested businesses to an upcoming webinar to learn about tips for bidding on government contracts. We've got a link that makes signup easy.

Crime

Summerfield woman behind bars after moving gal pal’s belongings to shed

A 60-year-old Summerfield woman was jailed Wednesday after packing up her gal pal roommate’s belongings and telling her to stay away.

Opinions

It makes perfect sense to honor ‘request’ of wearing masks at recreation centers

A request to wear masks at recreation centers is no different than someone asking you to take off your shoes or refrain from smoking in their house.

Top Stories

Another Villager tests positive for COVID-19 as surrounding communities add cases

Another Villager has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus as Lady Lake and Summerfield also added cases and a Marion County man succumbed to the virus.

Softball players caravan to fallen teammate’s home in The Villages

More than 100 friends and fellow softball players caravanned Saturday morning to the home of their fallen teammate in The Villages. Villages-News.com's David Towns was there.

P.F. Chang’s Villages application still on file despite pandemic peril

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro’s application for a restaurant in The Villages remains on file with the state, despite the chain’s struggle in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.

Letters to the Editor

Not wearing a face mask during pandemic is disrespectful

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Bridgeport at Lake Sumter resident says that not wearing a mask is disrespectful to all medical personnel and all people with underlying conditions.

I choose not to wear a mask

A Village of Piedmont woman explains why she chooses not to wear a face mask. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Disappointed in our hometown newspaper

A Village of Liberty Park resident, in a Letter to the Editor, expresses her disappointment in coverage in The Villages Daily Sun.

Crime

Summerfield woman behind bars after moving gal pal’s belongings to shed

A 60-year-old Summerfield woman was jailed Wednesday after packing up her gal pal roommate’s belongings and telling her to stay away.

Faulty tag light leads to Lady Lake man being arrested on drug charges

A Lady Lake man who was stopped in Leesburg Tuesday night for a malfunctioning license tag light soon found himself behind bars on drug charges.

Man armed with gun jailed after climbing into woman’s car in The Villages

A man armed with a gun cloaked in a sock was arrested after climbing into a woman’s car at a grocery store in The Villages.