Polk County deputies said a self-proclaimed career shoplifter who admitted stealing up to three times a week and selling the proceeds for drugs, faces charges in two Home Depot thefts in the past month.
Deputies said Richard McIntosh, 56, of Winter Haven, stole $320 in wire on Dec. 6 from a store in Lakeland and $180 in screws from a Winter Haven store Sunday.
McIntosh told authorities that for the past 25 years he has brought in “$600 to $700 per day” by stealing gift cards and merchandise from Home Depots, selling the proceeds to buy crack cocaine.
McIntosh faces one count each of retail theft, fraud and petit theft. Bail was set at $2,250. Although McIntosh said this was his first shoplifting arrest, Polk jail records show he has 26 prior arrests on charges that include drug-related crimes, aggravated assault, battery and robbery.
“Richard McIntosh is the poster child for why our agency recently formed an Organized Retail Crime Unit, partnering with retailers countywide to combat the theft of their merchandise,” Sheriff Grady Judd said.
“When a shoplifter is arrested in Polk County, our detectives dig deeper to determine if it’s an isolated incident or something more. We will continue to work with merchants such as Home Depot, Bealls, Target and others to crack down on those who make a living by stealing.”