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The Villages
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Suspected thief in red Crocs walks out with stolen sub sandwiches at Publix

A suspected thief in red Crocs walked out with stolen sub sandwiches at a Publix grocery store in The Villages.

An online order for three Boar’s Head Italian Whole Subs was received Thursday in the deli department at the Publix store on Bichara Boulevard in Spanish Springs, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. At about 5:30 p.m., a man about 6 feet tall, with a beard, long brown hair, wearing a baseball cap and with red Crocs on his feet entered the store and walked straight to the deli. He retrieved the three subs from the cold case and walked through the self-checkout area without paying for the stolen sandwiches, valued at $28.97. His visit to the store was captured on video surveillance.

Matthew James Wise
Matthew James Wise

The license plate of the thief’s truck was tracked to The Quarters Apartments in Lady Lake, where the police found 21-year-old Matthew James Wise of Ocala. The owner of the truck admitted that Wise had been allowed to use the vehicle, even though he does not have a valid driver’s license.

Wise told the police “multiple conflicting stories” about how the sub sandwiches had been paid for online. However, he could not provide proof of the purchase.

He was arrested on a charge of theft. He became “combative” and was banging on the interior of the police officer’s squad car “all the way down to the jail.” He was booked at the Lake County Jail and released after posting $500 bond.

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