A Swainsboro man suspected in several shoplifting incidents at a Statesboro adult novelty store was arrested after employees, anticipating his next visit, called law enforcement when he appeared again.
Hunter Evan Gay, 25, of Stewart Street in Swainsboro, had been caught on camera several times before Bulloch County sheriff’s investigators caught him in the act Jan. 28 at Sunset Novelties on Highway 67, said store manager Kerstin McLemore.
Sheriff’s incident reports stated Gay was not only arrested for shoplifting $464 worth of adult sex toys over a period of time, but he also had illegal drugs on his person at the time of his arrest. He had a firearm as well, reports stated.
“This was the third time” he had been in the store and shoplifted, McLemore said. Employees found empty boxes after Gay left on previous visits, and upon checking surveillance video, they found he had been recorded stealing the adult toys.
McLemore said Gay was exceedingly “cocky” when he came into the store, becoming involved in detailed conversations with employees and even giving one employee his phone number after making advances.
“He said he was a teacher in Swainsboro,” she said.
However, a spokesperson with the Emanuel County Board of Education human resources department said Tuesday that Gay was not employed by the school system.
McLemore said after finding empty boxes and seeing Gay on video taking the items, she told her employees to call police the next time Gay came into the store. When he appeared around 9:30 p.m. Jan. 28, they dialed the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office, and deputies “showed up pretty fast,” she said.
Both deputies and investigators spoke with Gay, showing him printouts of video in which he was seen previously shoplifting adult items, before discovering that he had also shoplifted that night.
“He had already put (a sex toy) on his person,” McLemore said, “while they (deputies) were there.”
Gay is suspected of having stolen six items overall, but evidence showed he definitely took four items, she said.
After speaking with Gay and finding the illegal drugs and a firearm in his possession, deputies arrested him on charges of theft by shoplifting, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, possession of a schedule I controlled substance, possession of drug-related objects and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
He was taken to the Bulloch County Jail, where he later posted bond.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.