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Two men charged in Charlotte Walmart thefts

Brian Diebold, left, and Johnathan Hartman
Brian Diebold, left, and Johnathan Hartman(CCSO)
Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 10:00 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies have arrested two men for allegedly stealing items in a similar manner from two different Walmart stores in the last few weeks.

On June 12, a man entered the Walmart on South McCall Road in Englewood and proceeded to remove a Shark vacuum cleaner from its box and put it into a large blue cooler he had taken from the sporting goods section.

The suspect also pulled the tag off of a gray ball cap and placed it on his head before checking out and paying for some items. He concealed the cooler, which contained the vacuum cleaner, from the cashier’s view and exited the building.

Using video surveillance footage, the suspect was identified as Brian Diebold, 40, of Englewood.

Diebold was contacted via phone and agreed to meet with deputies. Deputies say Diebold gave permission to search his work truck, which yielded a cooler and hat which matched the description of the stolen items.

Due to the physical evidence located and clear surveillance video, Brian Diebold was arrested and charged with petit theft, the sheriff’s office said.

Two weeks later, on June 26, a man entered the Walmart in Murdock Circle and placed a red cooler in his cart. The subject, later identified as Johnathan Hartman, 33, is seen on security video collecting and concealing numerous items inside the cooler as he made his way around the store. He also placed a fan in the cart and exited through the garden center, deputies have charged.

After leaving with the items, Hartman walked back to the store’s garden center empty-handed, where he was taken into custody by a deputy. A subsequent search of his person revealed a glass pipe in his pocket with white residue, which tested positive for methamphetamine. The red cooler was located across the street in the Target truck-loading area with the stolen items inside, the sheriff’s office said.

Hartman’s criminal history revealed five separate incidents of previous theft. Due to the physical evidence and surveillance video, Johnathan Hartman was placed under arrest and charged with petit theft and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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