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Florida Man Caught On Camera Trying To Steal Soda From Gas Station And Getting Locked Inside Instead

Surveillance footage captured a man grabbing a bottle of Pepsi and trying to break the door down with a fire extinguisher after the cashier locked the front doors remotely, preventing him from leaving. 

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

A Florida man was arrested last week after allegedly stealing a bottle of soda from a local gas station, only for the cashier to lock him inside the store.

Gabriel Tillman, a 49-year-old Mulberry resident, was arrested on Thursday and is currently facing charges of grand theft, petit theft, and criminal mischief after he was allegedly caught on camera stealing a 16-ounce bottle of Pepsi from a local gas station, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office posted video of the incident — complete with outlandish sound effects — on Facebook on Saturday, December 14. Cameras captured a man believed to be Tillman walking into a Citgo convenience store on Thursday and promptly grabbing a bottle of Pepsi before trying to slip out of the door, according to police.

However, the man's efforts were thwarted when the cashier spotted the attempted theft and pushed a button that allowed him to lock the door and prevent him from leaving.

Gabriel Tillman Pd

“Gabriel huffed, and he puffed, but he could not blow the door down,” police wrote in their tongue-in-cheek description of the incident.

The video shows the man trying in vain to force the door open before grabbing a fire extinguisher and trying to break the door down. He was, again, unsuccessful, failing to break the glass but successfully breaking the fire extinguisher, police noted.

At that point, fearing further damage to the property, the cashier unlocked the door and the man left with the soda in hand. However, the alleged soda thief did not make it far; police said that a deputy located him a mere two blocks away from the scene of the alleged crime, still drinking the stolen soft drink.

When the officer approached him and asked if he “was aware of what was going on,” he replied, “Possibly,” according to the police statement.

Authorities continued to poke fun at Tillman’s alleged crime in the assorted hashtags that concluded the post, which included “OneOutOfOneThiefsArrestedChosePepsiOverCoke” and “CitgoHasReallyGoodWindows.”

The 41-second video has attracted more than 900 reactions and hundreds of comments since it was posted via Facebook on Saturday.

Tillman was still in custody as of Sunday, and is being held on a $1,500 bond, according to Tampa Bay’s Fox 13.

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