Police in Hazard are awaiting the return of a Perry County man they say stole a money bag containing more than $3,000 from the Wal-Mart SuperCenter at the Daniel Boone Shopping Center.
The Hazard Wal-Mart was the victim of a theft on May 21 when, according to Patrolman David Wiseman, who responded to the call at approximately 10:45 p.m. along with Sergeant Joe Collet, a subject described as a white male, walked into the store to return an item when a cashier was closing a register. Wiseman said that the subject then grabbed a money bag containing cash and personal checks and ran out of the store. The subject was described as a white male, possibly in his late teens or 20's with sandy blonde hair, standing between five feet and five inches and five feet and seven inches, weighing anywhere between 110 and 120 pounds.
After further investigation by the Hazard Police Department and Patrolman Wiseman, the suspect was found to be John Paul Gibson, 21, of Hazard. Positive identification was given by a witness at the scene. Gibson was entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database as a wanted person in connection to the theft.
Patrolman Wiseman, after an intense investigation, began receiving anonymous tips that Gibson may be in Jacksonville, Florida. Wiseman began dialogue with the Sheriff Department in Jacksonville and on Friday June 9, 2006, John Paul Gibson was arrested by the Jacksonville Sheriff Department without incident.
The Hazard Police Department is in the process of having Gibson moved back to Perry County to face criminal charges in connection to the Wal-Mart theft. According to Wiseman, when Gibson was arrested in Florida he was charged with possession of “worthless checks,” the equivalent to cold checks in Kentucky. Gibson must be in court on June 26 in Florida. “Once those charges are taken care of we'll be able to get him back in Hazard,” Wiseman said. He is expected to be back in Perry County by next month.
Gibson is charged in Perry County with theft by unlawful taking over $300, a felony charge.