Lansford man charged with felony retail theft
William Huot, 48, of 601 E. Abbott St., Lansford, faces charges from an incident which occurred on Feb. 10 at 5:52 p.m. at Family Dollar in the borough. Charges of felony retail theft and disorderly conduct were filed by Officer Christopher Ondrus. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and he was located by police hiding in the attic of his apartment. Huot was arraigned and committed to prison under $5,000 bail.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, here's what happened:
At 5:52 p.m. Feb. 10, Ondrus was dispatched to the store on a report of retail theft. The suspect had fled in a white Mercury registered to a Joline Ahner of Lansford. The Carbon County Communications Center described the suspect, who had taken Slim Jims, as a male with the name "Joey" tattooed on the back of his neck. Store staff described him as white and bald, wearing blue shorts and a black shirt. After being confronted, he left the store in the white Mercury. Ondrus recognized Huot from the descriptions.
Ondrus spotted the Mercury outside Huot's house, and spoke with Ahner. He asked her if she knew who had a tattoo "Joey" on the back of his neck, and she said, "Will." Ondrus asked her if he could talk with him. Ahner invited him inside, and he spoke with Huot. Ondrus asked them both if they had been at the Family Dollar store, both said they were. Huot said he had been accused of taking two Slim Jims. He said he did have the Slim Jims, but was going to pay for them. But Ahner didn't want them, so he put them back on a shelf.
He said he was confronted by store employees. He showed them where he had put the meat snacks, and was told to not to come back into the store.
Ondrus went to the store and talked the manager, Nicole Diehl, who told him she saw Huot grab two Slim Jims, look both ways, and then put them into his pants, pull his shirt down over them to hide them, and then walk down the aisle. He was confronted in the checkout aisle when Ahner was paying for some other items. Diehl asked him to put back the Slim Jims. Huot began causing a disturbance, insisting that he had put them back. He then walked away quickly, pulling the Slim Jims out of his shorts and quickly placing them on a shelf. He then showed Diehl where they were.
She told him to stay out of the store.