Walmart shoplifter says he has dementia and ‘simply forgets things’

Shoplifter said he has dementia and forgot to pay at Walmart in Vero Beach, Florida.
Shoplifter said he has dementia and forgot to pay at Walmart in Vero Beach, Florida.

VERO BEACH – A man who was caught opening store items and concealing them said he forgot to pay because “he has early signs of dementia and simply forgets things,” according to the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

The shoplifting occurred Sunday afternoon at Walmart, located at 5555 20th Street, in Vero Beach. A loss prevention officer for the store observed the man opening three oximeters, a beard trimmer, a bag of candy, a blood pressure cuff, a package of fruit roll-ups, then concealing them in reusable shopping bags.

The shoplifter was identified as 67-year-old Jon Scott Sturtsman of Vero Beach. Deputies watched camera footage of Sturtsman cutting open the packages with scissors and then disposing the containers in garbage cans at Walmart.

While walking towards the exit, Sturtsman was adding more items to his shopping cart before walking outside and passing all points of sales without paying.

“Upon detaining Sturtsman, he spontaneously stated, ‘he forgot to pay for the items because he has early signs of dementia and simply forgets things.’ He further stated that he was willing to pay for the items now and that he had approximately $1,000 cash,” the deputy said.

The unpaid items totaled $1,193.00.

Sturtsman was arrested and transported to the Indian River County Jail where he was charged with Retail Theft.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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About Jennifer Balakrishnan
Jennifer Balakrishnan lives in Vero Beach, Florida. She moved to Indian River County when she was 6-years-old. Jennifer earned a bachelor’s degree at Florida State University. She writes our crime stories and is one of our food/restaurant critics.