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The Villages
Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Woman allegedly walks out of Home Depot with power tool tucked in her purse

Patricia Salley Schwerdt
Patricia Salley Schwerdt

A woman was arrested after allegedly walking out of Home Depot with a power tool tucked in her purse.

Patricia Salley Schwerdt, 37, who is homeless, entered the Home Depot store at about 1 p.m. Saturday and selected a DeWalt multi-tool kit valued at $149, according to an arrest report from the Lady Lake Police Department. She placed the kit in her shopping cart and headed for the paint department where she covered the tool kit with a tarp. She removed the tool, battery and battery charger, placing them in her purse. She discarded the packaging and the tool bag.

She went though checkout and paid for one item, but not the tool kit.

Schwerdt tried to pull away when officers attempted to place her under arrest. She dropped her purse and officers spotted the tool kit inside it. She lashed out at police, calling them “crooked.” She referenced her previous arrests, including one earlier this year at Belk and a 2020 arrest at Target at Rolling Acres Plaza. In 2018, Schwerdt had to call a taxi after her unregistered and uninsured vehicle was towed from the scene of a traffic stop in The Villages. In 2014, she was jailed after a Christmas Day arrest on a charge of battery.

A K-9 alerted on Schwerdt’s vehicle, leading to the discovery of heroin and drug paraphernalia.

She was arrested on charges of theft, resisting arrest, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. She was booked at the Lake County Jail on $6,500 bond.

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