Man Accused Of Shoplifting Booze While Wearing Hollowed-Out Watermelon As ‘Face Mask’

Justin Rogers posted a TikTok video of himself grocery shopping wearing a watermelon as a "corona mask."

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LIVESTREAM CRIMES: Murder, Mayhem and Social Media

From sexual assault to murder, the phenomenon of people live-streaming crimes is rapidly growing. How are these disturbing streams disrupting traditional investigative techniques?

A Virginia man was arrested Friday after he and a friend were allegedly caught shoplifting alcohol while wearing hollowed-out watermelons as homemade “face masks.”

Justin Rogers, 20, posted a TikTok video on May 5 that appeared to show him and another man buying two watermelons, scooping them out, and wearing them on their heads as they go grocery shopping. The melons entirely cover the men’s faces, except for two eye-holes.

“Cool face mask hack,” reads the caption to a version of the post on another TikTok account.

The video also contains footage of the men sitting in a large, black truck.

Another TikTok clip posted the same day shows the melon-masked men talking with a store employee while wearing the masks.

“Him: what’s with the Mellon [sic],” the caption reads. “Us: it da corona mask.”

Watermelon Masks Pd

That night, surveillance footage at a Sheetz convenience store in Louisa, Va. showed two men shoplifting alcohol while wearing watermelons on their heads, Police Chief Tom Leary said in an interview with The footage showed the thieves driving off in a large, black truck — similar to the vehicle Rogers was seen sitting in.

The police department put out a Facebook post asking for the community’s help in identifying the culprits — and on May 15, Rogers was arrested.

Rogers has been charged with petty theft, possession of alcohol by a minor, and wearing a mask in public. The second individual has not yet been identified, but Leary said police have “pretty good information” on who they are. 

Leary said that as far as he knows, no similar crimes have ever happened in his community. Louisa has about 1,500 residents and is an hour’s drive from Richmond, according to the police department’s website.

It was not immediately clear if Rogers was available for comment.

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