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Father, son arrested in Polk County after stealing bike from Walmart then attempting to return it

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Posted at 3:48 PM, Apr 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-06 15:53:19-04

MULBERRY, Fla. — A father and son have been arrested in Mulberry after they stole a bike from Walmart, then attempted to return it, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office says 28-year-old Anthony Fowler Jr. attempted to return the bike first, but was denied because he didn't have any identification on him. He brought the stolen bike out of the store and gave it to his father, 51-year-old Anthony Fowler Sr.

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Fowler Sr. was able to return the bike for a $179.76 Walmart gift card. He immediately used the card to buy a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, the sheriff's office says. When he exited the store, he was approached by law enforcement.

Fowler Sr. told them his son solicited him to return the stolen bike and he did so because he was scared of Fowler Jr.

While that happened, Fowler Jr. was exiting the store with his girlfriend, 28-year-old Christy Tesner. They were also approached by law enforcement, and authorities say both ran away.

Fowler Jr. was arrested after he tripped and fell while running from deputies.

Tesner gave deputies a fake name when approached, then ran away again. She was eventually tackled and arrested.

Deputies found that Tesner was on active felony probation for illegal possession of a debit/credit card. They also found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia inside her purse.

Fowler Jr. was arrested for felony petit theft, resisting an officer without violence, resisting property recovery retail/merch and director of dealing in stolen property.

Tesner was arrested for giving a false ID to a LEO, possession of methamphetamine, resisting an officer without violence, possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting property recovery retail/merch.

Tesner also faces additional charges related to violating her probation.

Fowler Sr. was arrested for petit theft, dealing in stolen property and obtaining property by fraud.