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PCSO News Release

Media Contact:
Wilder, Scott

Director of Communications 
News Date: 12/23/2010 

 "Beer Cooler Bandit" Charged 


On November 10, 2010, at approximately 3:00 a.m., an unknown suspect (later identified as David Anthony Wilson, DOB 12.05.1967), forced entry into the Combee Tire Store by cutting a hole in the roof of the business.  Upon entry into the Combee Tire Store, Wilson used a mechanics hammer and sledge hammer to beat the lock off of the door that leads from the tire store to the cooler of the Citgo convenience store.

Wilson then entered the Citgo convenience store's cooler. While therein, he ransacked the interior of the cooler by breaking bottles onto the floor of the cooler and threw the items from the shelves of the cooler onto the floor of the cooler. 

Wilson then entered onto the sales floor of the convenience store by crawling through the cooler door.  This is the kind of glass cooler door that patrons usually open to get access to soft drinks, beer, etc.  As Wilson made entry onto the sales floor, he crawled through the "candy aisle" to the cashier counter area, holding a dark colored bag. 

Wilson crawled behind the counter, opened several cabinets, and took 52 cartons of "305's" and "Newport" cigarettes, placing them in his bag - approximate value $2547.48. 

Wilson then took a loaded 9mm pistol from the storage area under the cash register and placed it into his bag - approximate value $450.00. Wilson then crawled back down the "candy aisle" at which time he stopped approximately halfway down the aisle and took a box of 24 count "Snickers" candy bars and a box of 24 count "King Size Snickers" candy bars, placing the boxes into his bag - approximate value $60.00. 

After gathering the boxes of candy bars, Wilson continued to crawl on his hands and knees back to the cooler door that he made entry through. Wilson opens the door, crawls back into the cooler, and again enters into the Combee Tire Store. While entering back into the tire store, Wilson is now armed with the loaded firearm that he stole from the Citgo convenience store.  Wilson exits the tire store from the hole he made in the ceiling. 

Surveillance shows Wilson's actions while in the convenience store. Detectives learned of Wilson's identity through an anonymous tip. Wilson previously worked as a mechanic at the Combee Tire Store and knew of the surveillance cameras and alarm in the Citgo convenience store - both stores are operated by the same owner. 

David Anthony Wilson has been arrested in Polk County on 10 prior occasions for charges including (some multiple counts):  auto theft, felony battery, simple battery, burglary, fraud, grand larceny, trespassing, resisting arrest, possession of cocaine, theft, grand theft, dealing in stolen property, writing bad checks, hit-and-run/leaving the scene of a crash, numerous traffic violations, and violation of probation.  Wilson has a total of 13 felony convictions dating from January 1987 to December 2009. 

Wilson was arrested for violating Community Control (Dealing in stolen property) on November 20, 2010.  Wilson is now serving 128 months in Florida State Prison.  An affidavit for Wilson is being filed with the State Attorney's Office for this incident.

The total approximate value of the property stolen by David Anthony Wilson is $3057.48.