Perhaps the lesson for would-be vodka thieves in Seymour would be not to steal from the Food Mart Hot Spot on Business 60.

Or in Seymour in general.

Local law enforcement currently is on the lookout for 33-year-old Samuel Lewis Houck II of Willow Springs after he visited the Seymour convenience store around 2:20 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 23, and grabbed a bottle of Smirnoff vodka and a carton of Marlboro Black cigarettes, then ran out the store’s door into a dark blue Chevrolet car, which didn’t have license plate.

Value of the stolen items?

$69.

However, an investigation by Sgt. Chase Davis, detective for the Seymour Police Department, identified Houck as the thief, both from witness statements and video surveillance of the petty crime.

By the afternoon of Thursday, Sept. 24, Houck’s mother, who owned the car he sped away in, had been located. She confirmed the car used in the crime was hers, telling Davis that her son had used it to go to a job in Rogersville.

Around 3:30 p.m. that day, Houck called Davis.

“Samuel admitted he was the one who took the items from the Hot Spot in Seymour,” Davis wrote in his report.

“He asked if he could talk to me in person, and I told him he could come to the police department and talk to me in person.”

Then Houck asked Davis if anyone else knew about his alleged crime.

Davis said that he had notified the probation office.

“Samuel then said he would only pay back (the) Hot Spot if I was not issuing a warrant,” his report said. “I told Houck it was up to Hot Spot to press charges.”

A few minutes later, Houck called again, wanting to know if Davis had talked to the Hot Spot’s owners.

“When I told Samuel that I had not had time to call them and had been busy, he got mad, told me he did not believe me, called me ‘a f***ing p****,’ then hung up the phone,” Davis’ report concluded.

A few days later, Houck’s mother visited the Hot Spot and paid for her son’s stolen items, telling the owners that her son “just forgot to pay” for the cigarettes and vodka.

When contacted by Davis, the Hot Spot’s owners said they still wanted to press charges for shoplifting.

“They felt it was an intentional act,” Davis said.

“Charges aren’t being dropped just because his mother paid for what he swiped.”

Davis said Houck is on probation for previous state convictions for drugs and stealing.

City charges have been filed in Seymour Municipal Court against Houck.

His court date is at 3 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at Seymour City Hall.

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