The Marion County Sheriff's Office said deputies investigating the theft of a purse from a Publix store visited the home of George Ward, 50, of The Villages when a detective identified him from surveillance footage of a man snatching the purse in the store and using a debit card from the bag to buy a $37.09 carton of cigarettes, the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner reported Wednesday.
The sheriff's office report said Ward denied taking the purse or using the debit card while speaking to Detective Art King and Deputy Gregory Snodgrass. During the conversation, King and Snodgrass noticed a stack of 17 Publix shopping baskets in the garage.
Ward told the investigators he had used the baskets while shopping at Publix and took them home with his purchases.
A store manager said the baskets, worth $271, are not supposed to leave the store.
Ward was arrested on charges including including grand theft and fraudulent use of a credit card.