The Jacksonville Beach Police Department is sending a clear message after two men were arrested on multiple theft charges following a string of thefts at five Jacksonville Beach stores.
“Let it be known….we do NOT tolerate this type of criminal activity in our city,” a Facebook post from the police department said.
Police said the string of thefts began at an Ulta Beauty store. When police arrived at the store, they were advised of a suspicious vehicle parked in front of the Staples store. Police identified the driver of the vehicle 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, police said. He was then approached by police, leading him to run into a Home Depot.
While this happened, Simmons was taken into custody. Hough attempted to hide from the police inside the Home Depot, which prompted the store to go on lockdown. Eventually, officers located Hough and took him into custody.
Police said 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 about $4,200, according to police.
Simmons was charged with two counts of accessory to grand theft. Hough was charged with three counts of petit theft and two counts of grand theft. Both men were booked into the Duval County Jail.