July 1, 2009

Man allegedly swiped watch in courthouse

Authorities in Florida said a man swiped a $1,000 watch from a courthouse security checkpoint and was arrested while awaiting a pretrial hearing.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said deputies scanned security camera footage of the metal detector checkpoint Monday at the Criminal Courts Complex in Largo after a man who entered the courthouse complained that his Wittnauer watch, worth $1,000, disappeared from the tray he placed it on for scanning, The St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times reported Wednesday.

Marianne Pasha, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said a deputy identified the thief as Willie Earl Jeter, 53, who was found in a fourth-floor courtroom awaiting a pretrial hearing on cocaine dealing charges.

Pasha said Jeter gave the watch to the deputies and told them he didn't even need a watch but he liked the way this one looked.

Jeter was arrested and charged with grand theft. He was released after posting $5,000 bail.