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Baggy Pants Trip Up Alleged Church Robber in Fla.

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on September 13, 2013 9:43 AM

A thief in baggy pants was foiled by his own sartorial choices on Wednesday, as his not-too-tight bottoms allowed a bystander to trip him up as he was making his getaway.

Anthony Jason Garcia, 31, allegedly grabbed the cash drawer from the gift shop of an Orlando-area Catholic church and tried to make a break for it -- but his pants kept falling down. Seizing the opportunity, a church maintenance worker grabbed onto Garcia's sagging pants and literally tripped him up, Reuters reports. The Good Samaritan then pinned Garcia in a wrestling hold until police arrived.

Garcia is now facing felony charges, but is this saggy-pantsed man truly guilty of robbery?

Felony Robbery Charge

In Florida, robbery is a felony which can be punishable by a maximum of life in prison. In Garcia's case, however, a conviction will likely only stick him with a few years.

Robbery is often thought of as larceny with a punch, but under common law, robbery is defined as:

  • Taking, with intent to steal
  • Property of another
  • From his or her person or presence
  • Against that person's will
  • By violence, intimidation, or threat of force.

The Florida definition is essentially the same, but there is a questionably factual issue in the charge: Where's the punch?

Force, Violence, or Intimidation?

It is dubious whether Garcia used any sort of force or intimidation to obtain the cash drawer in the church. An Orange County Sheriff's spokeswoman even said that Garcia's theft went unnoticed because he "was so quiet and did not use a weapon," reports Reuters.

There also must have been a person present to be the victim of Garcia's violence or intimidation.

Similar to how resisting arrest is treated, a less obvious victim could be the church employee who caught Garcia with his pants down -- a man with whom Garcia likely physically struggled in his attempt to get away.

It's a bit of a stretch, but stealing from a church typically doesn't win many favors from prosecutors or juries. However, since Garcia didn't use a gun or any other weapon, his second degree felony charge would "only" land him a maximum of 15 years in prison.

Garcia may have learned something about what not to wear if he was born a decade or so later, as Florida schools have put the kibosh on saggy pants in schools since 2011.

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