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The Villages

Villager’s troubled son says he’s not ‘bad guy’ after being popped for TV theft

Keith Nicholas Barnum

A 42-year-old man who lives with his mother on the Historic Side of The Villages and has a sordid criminal past is behind bars in the Marion County Jail.

A Marion County sheriff’s corporal was called to the Summerfield Wal-Mart, located at 17961 S. U.S. Hwy. 27/441 on Nov. 12 and when he arrived, a loss prevention associate said he had found video taken earlier in the day of a man leaving the store through the garden center with a 65-inch Samsung television valued at $678 that he hadn’t purchased. The corporal noted that the suspect, later identified as 42-year-old Keith Nicholas Barnum, had left the store in a beige golf cart with the TV and headed south into Sumter County.

The corporal was called back to Wal-Mart on Monday night when Barnum returned to the store. The deputy was able to positively identify Barnum as the person in the surveillance video based on the thinning of his har at the front of his scalp, his glasses and his forehead/facial structure. Barnum also was wearing the same black face mask that covered his entire neck that was seen in the surveillance video, the report says.

After being read his rights, Barnum refused to speak with the corporal. A loss prevention associate told Barnum that he was being trespassed from the store and he spontaneously uttered, “If I stole the TV and I bring it back right now, can the handcuffs come off,” the report says.

Barnum was placed under arrest and while being transported to the Marion County Jail, he said, “I’m not a bad guy. I just made a stupid decision and I am sorry,” the report says.

Barnum, who was convicted of petty theft on July 9, 2018 and grand theft on Nov. 13 – both in Lake County – was charged with petit theft (third or subsequent offense). He was being held on $2,500 bond and is due in court Dec. 22 at 9 a.m. to answer to the charge, jail records show.

Barnum, who has a tattoo that reads, “Dear Mom, You have given me life and in return, I have given you Hell,” is no stranger to the legal system, having been arrested multiple times for a variety of crimes in The Villages over the past several years. Some of those include:

  • Arrested in November 2019 in after an alleged attack on a couple in the parking lot of Winn-Dixie at La Plaza Grande in The Villages. The couple flagged down a Lady Lake police officer and said Barnum had been driving a golf cart when he began “harassing” them.
  • Arrested in June 2019 and jailed without bond after he was caught driving a golf cart in the Oak Meadows section of The Villages.
  • Arrested in June 2019 in the wee hours of the morning after showing up at the Circle K at 3 La Grande Blvd. on the Historic Side of The Villages in defiance of a previous trespass order. During that incident told police officers, “Let me call my mom.”
  • Arrested in June 2019 after getting into a drunken dispute at Gator’s Dockside in Spanish Springs Town Square. A Lady Lake police report said he was attempting to get into a physical altercation with several people standing on the porch area outside the popular eatery.
  • Arrested in November 2018 after an alleged theft of cologne from the Belk store at La Plaza Grande shopping plaza in The Villages.
  • Released in October 2018 on bond after allegedly stealing a golf cart belonging to a 65-year-old resident of the Village of Silver Lake.
  • Arrested in April 2018 after making another beer run to the Circle K at 3 La Grande Blvd. after he had been permanently banned from the minimart.
  • Taken into custody in January 2018 after he allegedly snatched his sleeping mother’s car keys in the Village of Silver Lake. Barnum’s girlfriend called his mother the following day and told her he had crashed her car into a tree in Spring Hill, according to an arrest affidavit.
  • Arrested in September 2017 on a drunk driving charge after he was spotted driving a golf cart without headlights in the Historic Side of The Villages.
  • Arrested in August 2017 after he was caught running from Circle K with a cold Budweiser. The attendant at the Shay Gate reported seeing Barnum run through the gate area.
  • Landed back behind bars in July 2017 after paying a visit to the Circle K on the that he already had been banned from. He told a Lady Lake Police officer that he knew he was banned from the minimart but had gone there to wash his hands.
  • Arrested in January 2017 for trespassing at the Circle K at 3 La Grande Blvd.
  • Arrested in January 2017 on a charge of disorderly intoxication at World of Beer after causing an earlier disturbance at Margarita Republic in Spanish Springs.
  • Arrested in December 2016 for trespassing after showing at the Circle K minimart that had had been banned from.
  • Arrested in September 2016 after allegedly taking a four-pack of Natural Ice Beer from the Circle K on the Historic Side of The Villages.
  • Arrested in July 2016 after allegedly spitting at an employee of The Villages Veterinary Clinic on La Grande Boulevard after claiming she had driven through a puddle and splashed him while he was driving a golf cart.
  • Arrested in July 2016 on a charge of groping a clerk at the Circle K gas station on the Historic Side of The Villages. He was accused of smacking her buttocks and touching her thigh area, according to a report from the Lady Lake Police Department. She repeatedly asked him to stop and at one point he asked her to pull down her pants and have sex with him, a police report indicated. The clerk said she had no previous relationship with Barnum and did not know him.

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