Police nab suspect with spirits, videos

St. Petersburg Times - July 9, 1987


ST. PETERSBURG - A man with a taste for blood, wine and beer never had a chance to enjoy the horror movies and spirits that police say he carefully chose at a Circle K store early Wednesday morning.

Police arrested Darris L. McKinney as he left the store with a plastic garbage bag filled with an empty computerized cash register, 11 bottles of Bartles & Jaymes wine cooler, six cans of Busch beer and about 30 scary videos.

''It was kind of weird, which movies he took,'' said Annie Teal, manager of the Circle K store at 1345 34th St. S.

Night of the Zombies and The Creepers were among those taken, she said. Left behind were ''sophisticated'' movies such as The Woman in Red and Stuck on You.

Many of the recovered tapes were damaged, Mrs. Teal said. The now-broken cash register, three wine coolers and several cans of beer also were recovered by police, she said.

According to police and Mrs. Teal, at about 1:05 a.m. McKinney used a car jack to break a glass door and entered the closed store. He inadvertently triggered a silent alarm, and police said they arrived as McKinney left the store.

Two police officers and one police dog chased McKinney. Mrs. Teal said the police told her the suspect tossed bottles of wine cooler at the officers. The officers dodged the bottles and caught McKinney, who was charged with commercial burglary, police said.

The man, whom police described as a Clearwater-born transient with no local address, was in jail Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Mrs. Teal said the man, who also is known as Darris L. Lemon, has been a regular customer at the store.

Store workers were conducting an inventory Wednesday to see if anything else was taken in that burglary and in a similar incident the night before, she said.

Mrs. Teal said no one was arrested in the Tuesday incident, when the store lost sandwiches, cakes, another cash register and two cases of Michelob and Lowenbrau beer.

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