A Winter Haven couple have been charged with theft after hundreds of dollars of stolen merchandise was found in their car Thursday, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies were called to Publix, 4730 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland, by a report of two people trying to leave the store with concealed merchandise. Dalma Serrano, 32, and Marcus White, 43, both of Winter Haven, had been detained by store loss prevention personnel.
Serrano’s 2000 Pontiac Grand Am was found in a nearby Starbuck’s parking lot. Inside, deputies could see in the back seat were new clothing items with tags and large amounts of household merchandise.
Serrano gave detectives consent to search the car, where detectives said they found:
♦ 24 new children’s outfits
♦ six pairs of men’s shorts
♦ nine school uniform polo shirts
♦ one pair each of school uniform shorts and pants
♦ 13 bags of Tide Pods detergent
♦ six bags of Gain Flings detergent
♦ 11 bottles of Dawn Dish Soap
♦ four cans of Febreeze spray
The estimated total worth of the goods is $1,000.
After being read her rights, Serrano admitted to taking the merchandise from Kmart, 4717 S. Florida Ave., and Dollar General, 3111 U.S. Highway 98 S.
Serrano has been in the Polk County Jail four times, most recently in March on charges of failure to appear, deputies said.
White said he knew Serrano was stealing merchandise from Kmart, Dollar General Store, and the Winn Dixie Store located off Edgewood Drive in Lakeland, but that he was not involved.
White was released from Florida State Prison on June 17 after being incarcerated for grand theft and petit theft. He has been in the Polk County Jail 29 times and has been in prison three times, deputies said.
Both were charged with retail theft from multiple locations within a 48-hour period and are being held without bail at the Polk County Jail.