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Lawton Man Accused of Stealing Nearly $1,200 Worth of Porn

21-Nov-2014

We have written about some really weird things people have stolen, and it seems like one Lawton man is trying to make our list. Either that, or he's really, really lonely.

Police say 44-year-old Anthony Mercier is no stranger to the employees of a Lawton-area Family Video store. Workers say that Mercier is suspected in a number of shoplifting thefts in the store, and so when he showed up again recently, they called police.

A police officer and store employees watched Mercier as he perused the store for about 45 minutes, repeatedly picking up a video, moving out of view, and then returning the case to its previous spot.

As the suspect attempted to leave the store, reports say, an officer grabbed him by the arm to stop him. When he did so, several videos allegedly fell from Mercier's coat.

Police claim to have found more 29 stolen pornographic DVDs in Mercier's possession, with 21 of those matching empty DVD cases distributed around the store. They also found 23 damaged security tags in the suspect's pocket. 

Upon arrest, he allegedly admitted to using a lighter to damage and bypass security tags, telling police he was "sorry" for stealing the porn. The retail value of the stolen porn is just under $1,200.

Shoplifting is one of those crimes that is charged and punished in accordance with the value of the stolen property. 

Oklahoma law defines larceny as using fraud or stealth to take another's personal property with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of its possession. 

  • Theft of money or property valuing less than $500 is petit larceny (or petty theft). It is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 and a maximum of 6 months in jail.
  • Theft of money or property valued at $500 or more is grand larceny--a felony. Conviction of grand larceny is punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

In other words, if someone shoplifts less than $500 worth of porn, the consequences will be much less severe than those associated with the theft of more than $500 worth of porn.

Let's do a little math here to find the tipping point for the man accused of stealing some decidedly "un-family friendly" videos from Family Video. If he stole 29 videos with a total value of $1,159.58, that comes to an average of $39.99 per video. At that rate, the shoplifter elevated his crime from misdemeanor to felony when he stole the 13th video.

And really, shouldn't 12 porn flicks at a time be more than enough?



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