VERO BEACH — A Port Saint Lucie man claimed he was going through a mid-life crisis when he was arrested for shoplifting nearly $470 worth of clothing at Dillard’s and J.C. Penney at the Indian River Mall. He also said the nine counterfeit $20 bills he was carrying were made as a joke to be put in birthday cards.
The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office arrested Gilbert Medida, 33, Jan. 3, on charges of grand theft, possession of counterfeit payment instrument, resisting a merchant, and resisting arrest without violence. He has been released from the county jail on $8,500 bond. Authorities said Medida had collected four Polo hats and four Polo shirts at Dillard’s and put in a shopping bag and left the store. A loss prevention officer tried to stop Medida, ripping Medida’s shirt off as Medida pushed him away and fled through the parking lot on foot.
A deputy arrived and saw Medida running toward J.C. Penney and gave chase, finally catching up with Medida in the men’s fitting room where he was found wearing a shirt he had pulled from the sales rack, the arrest report states.
“Medida stated he was going through a ‘mid-life crisis’ and that’s why he stole the merchandise,” according to the report. “Medida state he got scared, and that’s why he ran.”
The deputy found several pairs of Arizona blue jeans with J.C. Penney tags amongst Medida’s possessions along with nine counterfeit $20 bills in a Wachovia Bank envelope, the report states.
“He stated he knew they were fake and illegal but he advised he was placing them into birthday cards,” according to the report. “Medida stated he made them as a joke.”