I'm not sure what the penalty is for shoplifting, since I've never really done it, but I do feel that a guy I saw recently stealing from a convenience store probably deserves to get the book thrown at him. The problem is that it probably won't happen, so this guy will keep on taking his own personal discounts until someone bothers to go after the bum, though perhaps writing about him will help him admit the error of his ways.
I was at the Gate on McCormick and Ft. Caroline when I saw this mask-less guy checking out. He walked past me, so I gave him some space, but he came right back in because he noticed this particular Gate had firewood. He was very excited because he claimed he'd driven all around the previous day and no one had wood for him. I suppose cooler temperatures lead to a run on wood, though it does seem like the money you save by burning wood is no longer saved if you cruise around looking for wood all day and then end up getting your wood at a convenience store. And, yes, I know how that sounds, but it's what happened.
So this guy (who drives a blue Volkswagen Passat or Jetta, not red like the one pictured) decides he needs some wood from Gate. No, wait, he decides to get two bundles. I clearly heard him ask for a second (and only a second), at which time the cashier rang up two. He paid and was on his way, grabbing THREE bundles of wood, right in front of two cashiers, me, and God. He must have decided Gate was running a Buy 2 Get 1 sale on wood. I guess he figured no one would notice that he was grabbing his wood. Worse, I think he knew what would happen if someone did notice.
Basically, nothing happened. One cashier suggested turning off his gas. Both agreed he was on camera. The consensus seemed to be he'd be in trouble later on, like when the store manager reviewed the week's video recordings with Sheriff Mike Williams.
After a few extra minutes of the guy finishing gassing up (probably running low from his quest to find wood), the woodburglar drove off. I didn't have my camera, but the crew members at Gate were certain the guy would get caught. I find it slightly odd that he not only paid for one package of wood, but two, just to steal another. Maybe he believed he could more easily steal an extra if he had one in each hand. Then why not steal two without bothering to enter the store? Maybe it was a last-second decision rather than a premeditated crime, but he certainly drove away (calmly) rather than come back.
If you know a guy who drives a blue Volkswagen like the red one above, likes to have fires, and doesn't like wearing a mask, then you might want to remind him that shoplifting is a crime. And that there are all kinds of trees in Jacksonville just waiting to be cut down. From what I saw of this mid-aged white male, he could use the exercise. I have also seen two blue VWs in a week since this happened, so don't just drag old men or college students out of their crap-box Jettas to accuse them of stealing.