A man arrested in St. Francois County last week in connection with thefts at Harbor Freight in Farmington is now facing charges in Washington County.
Already facing charges in at least six other cases, 37-year-old Paul Tullock Jr., was charged Wednesday with felony stealing ($750 or more) after reportedly being captured on surveillance at Roy’s Convenience Store taking a lighter display case.
According to a probable cause statement from Deputy Peery of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, a cashier at Roy's Convenience Store in Caledonia stated that on New Year’s Day, she observed Tullock looking at the Zippo display case containing several Zippo lighters. She reported that she observed Tullock walk out of the store with the display case and drive off in a silver-colored Chevrolet truck.
The deputy reviewed the store’s surveillance footage which reportedly shows Tullock buying some food and a drink, paying cash for those items. The footage then reportedly shows Tullock pick up the Zippo display case, containing approximately 40 Zippo lighters, and walk out of the store. The report states that the man then got into his truck and drove south on Highway 21.
The approximate cost of the display case is $100 and the approximate cost of the 40 lighters in the case is $800, according to the statement.
A $30,000 cash or surety bond has been set in the Washington County case and the criminal complaint states that Tullock is a flight risk due to his criminal history and past attempts to flee from law enforcement.
In an attempt to aid law enforcement with locating the man in the surveillance video, the owner of Roy's Convenience Stores created a social media post last week offering a $1,000 reward for information. A $25 gift card to the store was also offered to anyone who shared the post.
Tullock was arrested Friday on unrelated charges and was in custody at the St. Francois County Jail with a cash or surety bond set at $15,000.
He was charged on Dec. 6 with felony stealing ($750 or more) and a class A misdemeanor of stealing in connection with two separate incidents of theft at Harbor Freight Tools in Farmington.
According to a probable cause statement by Officer Barron of the Farmington Police Department, Tullock entered the Harbor Freight store on Sept. 5 and exited with a Titanium Unlimited 200 Professional welder, valued at $699.99, without paying for it.
It is reported that Tullock entered the same store on Oct. 5, exiting with a Vulcan OmniPro 220 welder, valued at $949.99, again without paying for it and according to the probable cause statement, both instances of theft were captured on the store's surveillance cameras.
He was charged on Nov. 13 with the class A misdemeanor of stealing in connection with another theft that reportedly occurred in October at the Harbor Freight location.
According to the probable cause statement from this incident, Tullock was back at Harbor Freight on Oct. 19 where he again allegedly left the store without paying for a welder — a Titanium Unlimited 200 welder valued at $699.99.
Employees of Harbor Freight provided surveillance video of the theft, and Officer Barron recognized the person in the video who took the welder as Tullock. A customer also provided the license plate number of the vehicle that Tullock allegedly loaded the welder into, which matched another report officers had received involving Tullock at Menards in Farmington.
The day after this incident, on Oct. 20, the Farmington officer received a call that Tullock was back at Harbor Freight. He was then taken into custody by another Farmington police officer.
Once at the St. Francois County Jail, Tullock reportedly stated he did not have the welder anymore. When asked if he wanted to discuss it further, he reportedly said, “You know I have a problem.”
He was charged on Nov. 16 with felony stealing ($750 or more) in a similar incident at Rural King in Farmington.
According to the probable cause statement in this incident, Tullock entered Rural King in Farmington, on Aug. 9, where he reportedly placed a chainsaw valued at more than $750 in his shopping cart, along with other items, and then left the store without paying for the saw.
A search of Tullock’s criminal history shows he has been charged in the past with receiving stolen property, possession of controlled substances, and was also convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2002 for which he received a five-year prison sentence.