Two cases of beer and a bottle of Mountain Dew won this Florida man a night at the county jail

May 7, 2024

Florida is one of the largest alcoholic beverage markets in the country.

Over 175 million cases of beer were sold in Florida in 2021.

But two cases of beer and a bottle of Mountain Dew won this Florida man a night at the county jail.

People have been drinking beer for ages.

Frederick the Great once said that “many battles have been fought and won by soldiers nourished on beer.”

Ben Franklin famously declared that “beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

And Thomas Jefferson once allegedly said “beer, if drunk in moderation, softens the temper, cheers the spirit and promotes health.”

Florida is home to one of the largest alcoholic beverage markets in the entire United States.

It ranks in the top three best markets for spirits and wine.

In 2021, 28.5 million cases of wine, 20.1 million cases of liquor, and 175 million cases of beer were sold.

Light beer is the most popular beer sold in Florida followed by imported foreign beer, hard seltzer, and craft beer.

Most every store that sells drinks in Florida also sells beer and wine.

This includes pharmacies like CVS and gas stations like 7-Eleven.

But grocery stores like Walmart are the most common places where beer is sold in Florida.

In Joe Biden’s America, the price of everything has increased since he took office.

Beer is no exception.

“Inflation is hitting the beer industry hard as brewers grapple with increased costs for packaging and transportation,” CNBC reported last year. “Beer makers such as Anheuser-Busch and Molson Coors have raised prices on many of their popular beers.”

“Beer prices rose 5.9% in the 12 months through April 2023, and are up 72% since the year 2000,” CNBC added.

This is a problem for people with limited resources who love to drink beer.

And one Florida man’s love for beer that he could not afford recently landed him behind bars.

Thomas Watts, a 50-year-old, entered the Walmart in Lady Lake, Florida, last week and approached the alcohol section.

Watts picked up a case of Heineken, a case of Corona, and a 20-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew and put it in his shopping cart.

But he did not head to the checkout counter with it.

Instead, Watts left the store with his beer without paying for it.

A loss prevention officer noticed him stop at the exit and looked around to see if any employees were nearby.

He then headed to the parking lot where he loaded up the stolen drinks into his truck and left the area.

But he did not make it far.

“A Sumter County sheriff’s deputy conducted a traffic stop on the white truck on Highway 466 and saw the stolen items in the back seat,” Fox35 reported.

The total value of the stolen drinks was $60.

This is not Watts first time stealing from a store.

In 2000, he was convicted of theft in South Carolina.

Police took him into custody and locked him up in the Sumter County Detention Center and placed him on a $500 bond.

DeSantis Daily will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.

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