Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fat Man Steals From Restaurants

Police say man cheated eateries, stores
Report: Clerk stalls, foils moldy-beef-jerky scam

Rene Stutzman and Gary Taylor, Orlando Sentinel
August 21, 2007

SANFORD - A 550-pound man accused of cheating several restaurants by claiming he had found hair in his food was in jail Monday. This time, it was for talking a clerk out of $120 by claiming he had bought 30 bags of moldy beef jerky, according to police.

George Walter Jolicoeur, 35, of Sanford was being held in the Seminole County Jail on $12,500 bail. He was arrested at his home Saturday.

According to Mount Dora police, Jolicoeur talked a convenience-store clerk out of $120 on April 21, claiming that he had earlier bought beef jerky that had gone bad.

He also told the clerk he was a police officer and was organizing a children's charity event, said Robbin Mayfield, a Mount Dora police spokeswoman.

Jolicoeur tried the same thing during the weekend at a convenience store near Oviedo, according to a Seminole County Sheriff's Office report.

He walked into a 7-Eleven, saying that he had bought $50 worth of moldy beef jerky and wanted a refund, according to the report. The clerk, though, recognized him from earlier news reports and tried to stall, but Jolicoeur left.

Sanford police went to his home a short time later. From inside, they heard a man, pretending to be a woman, say that Jolicoeur was not there. Then they heard another voice say, " 'George, just turn yourself in,' " according to the report. He did moments later, the report stated.

No one answered the door at that home Monday.

Jolicoeur has a history of similar crimes, according to records. In 2005, he pleaded no contest to five crimes, all involving restaurants. Among them: He claimed he found hair in five steak sandwiches from a Firehouse Subs restaurant and received a $36 refund; and he received a $31 refund from Steak 'N Shake after complaining that he had found hair in six milkshakes.

In the early and mid-1990s, records show, Jolicoeur served time in state prison for crimes ranging from dealing in stolen property to drugs.

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