CCSO: Walmart thieves try tasing store employee

Posted at 11:04 AM, Jan 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-21 12:00:48-05

Citrus County deputies say a man who tried stealing two televisions from a Lecanto Walmart tried tasing a store employee when confronted about the theft.

John Jenkins, 44, of 2 N. Barbour Street in Beverly Hills, is now charged with grand theft, resisting a merchant and using a firearm during the commission of a crime.

Deputies say on Jan. 6 they responded to a grand theft call at the Walmart off North Lecanto Highway. When they arrived, a store employee told them Jenkins and another man came into the store, put two flat screen televisions in a cart and walked out of the store without paying.

The store employee confronted Jenkins, who pulled out a Taser and tried using it on the employee, an affidavit says.

The man with Jenkins, Frank Lanzilotta, attempted to grab a television and run, deputies say.

According to deputies, Angela Simmons was a get-away driver but fled the area in a black Mitsubishi when she saw the altercation. Both Jenkins and Lanzilotta ran off on foot.

Then, on Jan. 13, a grand theft was reported at an Inverness Walmart on East Gulf to Lake Highway.

Surveillance video showed Lanzilotta put two televisions in a cart and walk out of the store to a waiting black Mitsubishi, an affidavit says.

Deputies say they linked the trio to three separate television thefts at a Walmart in Ocala.  They were also linked to television thefts at a Dunnellon Walmart.

Deputies arrested the trio Jan. 14. An arrest report shows two flat screen televisions were found in the car they were pulled over in along with two security camera systems.