Come on, people. Do we really need to give you a refresher course on how to shoplift? Apparently so.
1. If you really have to steal stuff, keep the value of the items you swipe under $50. That way, if you get caught, it will only be a Class C Misdemeanor, and you will more than likely get nothing more than a ticket and at most a $500 fine.
Earline Garcia, the subject of this post, and the owner of a fine, only-in-East-Texas name, did follow this rule. An employee of a Lufkin Brookshire Brothers grocery would later tell police that all Garcia had attempted to take was a few packages of Orajel and a single bottle of QC pain relief tablets.
2. If you get caught, give the items back.
So far so good. When confronted by Brookshire Brothers employees, the 26-year-old Garcia did just that.
3. If you really must run, don't harm or threaten harm to anyone who tries to stop you or gets in your way.
This is where Garcia really, really screwed up.
After being told police were on the way, she is alleged to have gotten in her car and then attempted to run over the store employee not once but twice.
Voilà, her Class C misdemeanor petty theft charge was instantly upgraded to felony robbery. (The employee was not struck nor otherwise injured.)
4. If you've committed a felony and really need to stay free for a little while, go on the lam.
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Again, Garcia diverges from the script. Instead of hiding out, she went straight home, where she was immediately picked up by police, who arrested her for robbery and subsequently discovered that there were 13 traffic warrants out for Garcia. (Which could explain why she ran, but certainly does not explain her attempting to go Clara Harris on the store employee, who was just trying to do his job.)
In addition to all those traffic tickets (mostly for things like lack of child restraint, no insurance and no seat belt), Garcia had a memorable vehicular incident earlier this year when a Ford F-150 she was driving one frosty morn hit a patch of ice and went careening through the window of a Lufkin law office. (See the picture here. Police say she was wearing her seat belt for a change, but she was cited for no insurance and failing to control her speed.)
Bond had not been set as of yesterday on the robbery charge. In the meantime, she has over $6000 in traffic fines to deal with.
Sounds like she's racking up enough misdeeds for a sequel to that mid-decade, redneck-friendly NBC sitcom. It could be moved to Lufkin and renamed My Name Is Earline.