Crime

Judge advises wine thief to stay out of the Florida Keys

A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy takes fingerprints from Roberto Larias De Leon at the Plantation Key courthouse on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy takes fingerprints from Roberto Larias De Leon at the Plantation Key courthouse on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

After a Miami-Dade County man pleaded guilty to repeatedly returning to a Publix supermarket to steal wine, a Florida Keys judge told him he’d be wise to stay away from the island chain in the future.

Roberto Larias De Leon, 64, was arrested on Oct. 27 after cops say he stole more than $500 worth of wine from a Publix grocery store in the Middle Keys city of Marathon. After reviewing security camera footage, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies say he visited Publix four times that day, each time leaving with two bottles of wine hidden in his clothes, according to sheriff’s office reports.

That same day, he stole fish fillets and a chef sampler from the Publix in Key Largo, according to court records.

If he’d have paid for the bottles, the wine would have cost De Leon $508.35, sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt said in a press release.

County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia on Tuesday sentenced De Leon to a total of 20 months in state prison on one count of felony petit theft and two counts of grand theft.

Public defenders worked out the agreement with prosecutors, but Garcia said he was not happy with the deal.

“Apparently, you like taking things. My advice to you is don’t come back to Monroe County,” Garcia told De Leon, “because I’m not going to forget you.”

De Leon’s criminal history includes a July 15, 2014, theft conviction in Miami-Dade County, and a April 17, 2014, theft conviction in Collier County, according to court records.

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