This could also be titled "crime of the week" because it is so crazy but it also makes me very happy that I do not work for a local newspaper.
This paper must have been hurting for content because it uses 621 words to tell a story that could have been summed up in a 50-word brief.
You've heard the advice: Never run with scissors.
Here's some more advice: Don't run in flip-flops â€” especially when the cops are after you.
And especially when the flip-flops help police find you.
This is the story of a vacationing shoplifting suspect, his young companion and the flip-flops on their feet that, according to a report, actually helped police track down a barefoot man who tried to hide in a clothing store Tuesday afternoon.
She used the phrase "This is the story"? Are you kidding me?
Tommy Lee Patterson, 41, his wife and daughter, and Donald Gravley, 47, and his wife, and three teenage friends traveling with the two families were vacationing in the area from northern Georgia, police said.
About noon, as they were getting ready to head home, the vacationers decided to stop at the Wal-Mart on west Granada Boulevard and do a little shoplifting, police said.
Selecting everything from $33 worth of beef jerky to a variety of NASCAR T-shirts, beer and toilet paper, Patterson and Gravley and four teens strolled through the massive store filling their shopping cart, police said.
Ok, who would grab a VARIETY of NASCAR t-shirts and doesn't think the LP guys are watching them?
The group was being watched by a security officer who followed as they left the store with the brimming shopping cart. (Duh)
When asked whether they had a receipt for the $288.98 worth of goods, Patterson, Gravley and the teens scattered.
According to the report, though, Patterson decided to grab one of the teen girls who was with the group, and forced her to run with him as he eluded police.
This is where the shoes come in â€” both Patterson and the 14-year-old girl he grabbed wore flip-flops, Hayes said,
The chase was on.
Two Wal-Mart customers joined the pursuit when they found out Patterson had tried to steal from the store, police said.
The two good Samaritans, as police called them, were cousins Angel and Brian Graham of Ormond Beach.
The Grahams' footwear? Flip-flops.
Wow. That's like four people wearing flip-flops in the middle of summer. That's frickin' amazing.
Patterson and his young friend ran across Granada Boulevard â€” flip-flops still on their feet â€” and to the Lowe's home improvement store, the Graham cousins in tow, the report states.
At some point, Patterson and his young friend, and the Graham cousins, "ran out of their flip-flops."
When the flip-flops flew, the shoes landed in a pattern that left a trail of sorts.
"The officer who was chasing them apparently spotted a pair of flip-flops on the ground, then as he kept going, he spotted another pair of flip-flops," Hayes said. "You could say the shoes are what led the officers to the suspects."
Hey, that was the simplest investigation ever. Good job by the cops â€” superbad job by this reporter. This is such a non-story. And again, 621 words. To compare, the stories in Security Director News usually run about 500 words.
Patterson remained at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $4,500 bail Wednesday night. Gravley, meanwhile, was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Georgia. He remained at the jail without bail.
As for the flip-flops, it's not clear what happened to them.
This may be the worst story I have ever read. And it was on the paper's front page.