On 10-19-19 just after 9:30 p.m., Hernando County Sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to a large department store on Cortez Boulevard in Brooksville regarding a Retail Theft (shoplifting).
The caller advised that two individuals, a male and a female, were inside the store concealing items on their person. During the call, the female walked out of the store.
Upon arrival, Deputy B. Stentz Jr. located the female suspect sitting inside a van, in the parking lot. The loss prevention officer (LPO), from the store, positively identified the female as the person who was suspected of stealing items from the store. One of the items that the LPO observed the two suspects handing back and forth to one another inside the store was spotted in plain sight, at the female’s feet, inside the vehicle.
As the second deputy, Corporal L. Origon, was arriving on scene, he located the male suspect exiting the store through the garden center. The male was walking toward the vehicle. Again, the LPO positively identified the male as the other person suspected of stealing items from the store.
Both suspects were taken into custody and escorted back inside the store.
During questioning, the female, identified as Lauren Moon, admitted to stealing miscellaneous items from the store. The value of the items was $51.20. All items were recovered and returned to the store.
During a search of the male, identified as Keith Lebby, incident to arrest, deputies located a small black device. The LPO identified the device as an “anti-shoplifting or inventory control countermeasure device.” This is an instrument commonly used to defeat anti-shoplifting devices, placed on merchandise in many retail stores.
During questioning, Lebby explained what the device was for but stated he doesn’t use it for that. Lebby also admitted to taking items and passing them off to the female so she could take them from the store.
Store surveillance video confirmed the incidents as described by the LPO.
During the time that deputies were present with the female, in the vehicle, deputies observed numerous items with price tags and security devices still attached, inside the vehicle.
The couple, now under arrest, was transported to the District Two office to be interviewed by detectives regarding their possible involvement in additional crimes.
Lauren Moon became uncooperative and refused to speak to detectives.
Keith Lebby told detectives that he met a male named “Tom” and purchased the items in the vehicle from him for $400 cash and $80 worth of heroin.
Both suspects were transported to the Hernando County Detention Center and charged as follows:
Lauren Moon DOB/02-07-94
• Retail Theft
• Bond – $1,000
Keith Lebby DOB/10-03-91
• Retail Theft
• Possession of Anti-Shoplifting Device
• Bond – $3,000.
Detectives are working diligently to identify the retailers (victims of stolen property in the vehicle), so the merchandise can be returned.