Keylis Jere Bridegeforth is alleged to be a different kind of car thief.
According to police, he didn’t tear up windows, or locks on any doors, to the take a burgundy, 2006 Toyota Scion SUV.
Instead, police allege, he stole the keys to the vehicle, when an unsuspecting store patron laid them down on the counter and stepped away to buy a pack of gum at the Wal-Mart store, located at 4949 Bill Gardner Parkway, in Henry County.
Bridgeforth, 20, appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court, before Judge Nichole Reynolds, Saturday. Judge Reynolds dismissed the case, because of a “lack of prosecution,” according to court records.
Officials issued another arrest warrant for Bridgeforth. He is charged with felony theft by taking. He was not in custody at press time, Tuesday.
The victim told Locust Grove police that he walked away from the customer service counter to purchase gum, and noticed he did not have his keys, according to officer D. Shoemaker, in a police report.
“I went to customer service, and they advised that the keys were given to a young black male,” wrote Officer Shoemaker in his report. “They advised they asked him if the keys where his, and he stated, ‘yes,’ and took them, and left the store.”
A witness to the incident advised police that the alleged suspect took the keys and left. He was described as a young, slim, black male, wearing a blue hat, camouflage jacket and red shirt. The suspected thief left the store, got into a silver Honda and drove [around] the parking lot until he located the Toyota, according to the police report.
Police viewed surveillance video, and watched the incident.
“The suspect ... located the vehicle, and drove off heading towards Bill Gardner Parkway near Zaxby’s,” the report continued.
Police said the vehicle has a North Carolina tag: FD62813. They estimate that the value of the car is $5,000.