Three Charlotte County men have been arrested on charges of trying to steal two flat screen televisions from a Walmart in Sarasota.
An employee at the Walmart on 4381 Cattlemen Road called police about 6 p.m. Tuesday to report two suspicious men. The employee then watched as the pair put 55- and 32-inch televisions onto a shopping cart and leave the store without paying, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. The total value of the TVs was $1,446.
Two sheriff's deputies approached the men in the parking lot, and asked them to stop. Carlos Richart, 32, tried to flee, but was caught. Sean Joyce, also 32, tried to escape but was taken into custody by the two deputies after a struggle.
Deputies approached a third suspect, Bruce Swartz, 26, who was waiting for them in a red Ford Explorer, but he sped away, accelerating past vehicles and shoppers, the sheriff's office said. Deputies stopped the suspect at Casa Del Sol Boulevard and took him into custody.
Joyce and Richart, both of 22302 Vick St., Apt. 209, Punta Gorda, each of whom have criminal histories in Sarasota County, are charged with grand theft and resisting an officer without violence. Swartz, of 860 Mensch Terrace, Port Charlotte, is charged with principal to grand theft, reckless driving and resisting arrest without violence.
Richart was asked several times if he had anything illegal in his possession before entering the county jail, and he said no. A search by a detention deputy, however, found pills in a pocket of his wallet, the sheriff's office said. He faces additional charges of introduction of contraband into a detention facility, and possession of methadone and possession of Alprazolam.