Man refuses to leave store, stuffs starter fluid, flashlight in his pants

Clent Edward Cook. Image source: George County Sheriff's Department.
Clent Edward Cook. Image source: George County Sheriff's Department.

GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Officials said a man, who refused to leave a convenience store in George County, stuffed several store items down his pants on February 12.

George County Sheriff's deputies arrested 36-year-old Clent Edward Cook, of West Havard Road in George County on charges of possession of alcohol in a dry county, public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, shoplifting and destruction of county property.

Authorities first received a call from the store manager, who said a man was asked to leave the store, but refused and appeared intoxicated.

Once deputies arrived, they found Cook standing behind a sunglass display. Cook reportedly told deputies he was looking for a cell phone charger.

That's when a deputy noticed a can of starter fluid sticking out of his pocket. Howell said Cook claimed he planned on buying it.

Howell said Cook also had other items stuffed in his pants. Those items included an LED flashlight, three packaged nail files, two packs of AA batteries and a pair of long nose pliers.

When deputies found Cook's bicycle outside the store, they found a bag on the handlebar with more stolen items including, cans of unopened beer, a bag of five new AC/DC cell phone chargers, three beef sticks, two pairs of sunglasses and a bottle of radiator stop leak fluid.

The store manager was able to recover all the stolen items, which cost a total of $250, according to Howell.

Howell said Cook's antics didn't stop at the store. Once he was placed in a patrol car, Cook allegedly tore the interior door panel off.

Cook made his initial appearance before Judge Jessie Underwood at the  George County Justice Courthouse on Wednesday, March 6.

Cook won't be released from the George County Regional Jail until he pays old fines totaling $1,448.

No bond was set for him.

According to Howell, Cook has previous convictions for aggravated assault and grand larceny. He also had several outstanding fines.

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