DOCUMENT: Florida, Crime

"The Beef Jerky Got Me"

Bedridden 600-pound Florida man cops to food theft spree

Beef jerky

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The Beef Jerky Got Me

APRIL 1--Meet George Jolicoeur.

The 600-pound Florida man copped yesterday to criminal charges of stealing food from restaurants and convenience stores. The bedridden Jolicoeur was not in a Seminole County courtroom when his lawyer entered a no contest plea on the 38-year-old's behalf to five misdemeanor petty theft counts. The plea deal spared the 5' 11' Jolicoeur--who breathes with the aid of a respirator--a jail term, though he was ordered to pay court costs and restitution.

According to investigators, Jolicoeur would con businesses out of food or refunds by claiming that his grub was spoiled, adulterated, or inedible (Jolicoeur's ruse dates back several years and resulted in a prior no contest plea to theft charges). A Seminole County Sheriff's Officer report details an August 2007 incident in which Jolicoeur attempted a refund scam at a 7-Eleven. Jolicoeur, described as having 'labored breathing, similar to wheezing,' claimed to have purchased $50 worth of beef jerky that turned out to be moldy.

When Seminole cop Jeff Sabounji went to Jolicoeur's home to arrest him, the officer reported hearing 'what sounded like a male trying to cover his voice as a female. The person said that Jolicoeur was not here.' At that point, Sabounji noted, 'I could hear a female inside of the residence stating, 'George, just turn yourself in.'' As he was later being transported to jail, Jolicoeur explained to Sabounji, 'the beef jerky got me.'

Jolicoeur was busted again two months later for swindling $50 from a different 7-Eleven store. Masquerading as a fireman, Jolicoeur pretended to have been sold 10 'damaged' containers of Breyers ice cream, according to an Oviedo Police Department report. Not surprisingly, he claimed to have purchased 10 gallons of the frozen confection. (5 pages)