Asking someone if they have a bottle of whisky in their trousers might sound like the start of a low-budget liquor license-themed porno, but sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. Investigators in Florida have claimed that a career criminal from the St Petersburg area has been involved in an extensive alcoholic conspiracy, that has seen him stuff and steal enormous amounts of booze by using his pants as a makeshift carrier bag. Say what you like about the Sunshine State - their criminals could never be accused of being afraid to think outside the box.
After bringing multiple criminal charges to court on the 12th December, the prosecution allege that 55 year-old Andy Whitfield, a resident of the St Petersburg area, made off with around $3000-worth of alcohol during an epic larceny spree, consisting of eight separate thefts over the past two months. The stores targeted included branches of Walmart, Walgreens and Publix, who were all unaware that they were falling victim to a much larger scheme.
Whitfield’s alleged plan was elegantly simple in its execution. His modus operandi revolved around entering the store, heading straight to the liquor aisle and then stuffing as many bottles as possible into his baggy pants. He would then shuffle out the shop, exhibiting a “limp that was not present upon entering,” according to an account from one of the investigators. In fairness, it’s probably tricky to walk normally if you’re trying to stop a bottle of Smirnoff from slipping out the end of your trouser leg.
The prosecution believe that Whitfield’s criminal activities took a turn on November the 23rd, when he started his spree in earnest. The prosecution allege that he marched into a Walmart and managed to smuggle an astonishing 11 bottles of Jack Daniels whisky - valued at $321.67 - in his slacks.
Having gotten away with the crime and feeling flush with confidence, Whitfield proceeded to enter a Walgreens four days later, where he expanded his targets to include different booze brands. Prosecutors allege that he made it out of the store with no less than four bottles of Jack Daniels, two bottles of Crown Royal, two bottles of Jameson, and a bottle of Baileys Irish Cream, all once again smuggled down his pants.
The culmination of this unorthodox caper occurred in late November, when prosecutors believe that Whitfield waltzed out of the same Walmart he had rinsed a week or so earlier with another haul of more than $700-worth of booze. That, however, was where the binge came to an abrupt end. Two weeks later, Whitfield was placed under arrest.
After being confronted with several reels of store footage, clearly featuring both himself and his pants, Whitfield reportedly confessed to committing the crimes of which he was accused. It is believed that he will therefore soon return to state prison, where he has been previously held for more than 21 years on charges including robbery, narcotics possession and grand theft. The moral of Whitfield’s story is clear - just because you have the bottle to pull of a con, doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do.