Sheriff: Sarasota man traded stolen electronics for drugs

July 3, 2013 

SARASOTA -- The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has arrested a man on drug and theft charges after he admitted stealing boxes of expensive electronics from different Walmart stores over the past few weeks to trade for drugs, according to a news release.

On June 26, loss prevention officers from the Cattlemen Road location contacted deputies about a man who tried to leave the store with a 55-inch LED TV and a home theater system. There was a brief physical altercation when employees tried to stop him but the man fled on foot, according to a news release.

Loss prevention recognized the man as a suspect in another case for which they had a vehicle tag number.

Deputies identified the owner as Richard Hummel, 36, of Sarasota, and used a prior mug shot to confirm he is the suspect in these crimes.

Deputies contacted Hummel as he arrived home Tuesday night and took him into custody.

"The garage door to his home was open and in plain view were multiple unopened boxes of electronics. Hummel gave deputies permission to search and they recovered two subwoofers, Sony speakers, Pioneer Speakers, one amplifier and an audio receiver," the report states.

As he was being placed under arrest, Hummel shoved two baggies of pills in the waistband of his pants, where deputies found 9.5 grams of hydrocodone and xanax.

Hummel, who identified himself as a paralegal with a local law group, is charged with grand theft, resisting a property retail merchant, possession of a controlled substance and trafficking in a controlled substance.

Hummel was being held without bond at the Sarasota County jail.

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