PUNTA GORDA — Deputies arrested a Tampa man on Saturday after he was found to have taken almost $1,000 worth of flash drives and other merchandise from the Punta Gorda Walmart Super Center. Shortly after 10 a.m., the Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Walmart, located at 5001 Taylor Road in Punta Gorda, that one of their asset protection employees was chasing a man who had taken items from the store without paying for them. When the deputy arrived in the area, he saw the employee chasing Osmel Gonzalez-Gutierrez, 55, of Tampa, through the parking lot of the Pilot Gas Station on Jones Loop Road.
When confronted by the deputy, Gonzalez-Gutierrez stopped and was placed under arrest. The Walmart employee told the deputy he had witnessed Gonzalez-Gutierrez put several boxes of Gillette razor cartridges and some other items in a shopping cart. While pushing the cart through the store, he watched as Gonzalez-Gutierrez hid the items under his shirt and jacket. When deputies searched Gonzalez-Gutierrez, they found the razor cartridges, two bottles of Advil, and 18 packages of San Disk flash drives and USB cards. The total value of the merchandise taken was $966.66. Gonzalez-Gutierrez was charged with retail grand theft and resisting a merchant. He was released on a total $15,000 bond.
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