JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. – Two men were arrested Saturday afternoon after stealing from multiple stores at the South Beach Regional and Parkway shopping centers in Jacksonville Beach, according to the Jacksonville Beach Police Department.
At approximately 2:11 p.m., officers responded to a reported theft at the Ulta Beauty store. Prior to their arrival, they were advised of a suspicious vehicle parked in front of the Staples store. The driver of the vehicle was identified by police as Gilbert Simmons.
While officers approached the area, they saw a man leaving Staples with a cart full of merchandise being chased by employees. Police identified the man as Joshua Hough. Hough started to throw the merchandise into the vehicle. He was then approached by police, leading to him to flee on foot to Home Depot. While this happened, Simmons was taken into custody.
Meanwhile, Hough attempted to hide from police inside the Home Depot, which prompted the store to go on lockdown. Eventually, officers were able to locate Hough and take him into custody.
Police say that Hough stole merchandise from five different stores. The stores were Rack Room Shoes, Books-A-Million, Ace Hardware, Ulta Beauty, and Staples. The total value of the stolen merchandise was $4,200.
Simmons was charged with 2 counts of accessory to grand theft. Hough was charged with 3 counts of petit theft and 2 counts of grand theft. Both men were booked into the Duval County Jail.