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FORSYTH — A thief who kept hitting the same Forsyth store by taking items and then immediately bringing them to the returns counter for in-store credits was arrested Sunday, the Macon County Sheriff's Office said.

The 59-year-old Long Creek man was taken into custody by deputies and booked on a preliminary charge of theft by deception while having prior convictions for the same offense. Preliminary charges are subject to review by the state’s attorney’s office.

A sworn police affidavit said the man visited Menards on the afternoon of May 21 and stole and immediately returned two tools for a credit of $76. The next day, police said he hit the store again, at 4 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., using the same steal-and-return technique to gain store credits worth $180.

In a separate case from May 29, a sworn affidavit from Decatur police said the same man was caught on video surveillance filling his car up with $58 worth of gasoline at a Decatur gas station and driving off without paying for it.

Writing in the Decatur police affidavit, officer Jeremy Williams said the station cashier wrote down the vehicle license plate number. That was immediately traced to the man, Williams said, because he is a convicted sexual predator who is required to register his vehicle with police, the affidavit said.

The man remained in the Macon County Jail on Wednesday in lieu of $3,000 bond. If he makes bail, he has been ordered to stay away from any Menards store.


Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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