Bicycling bandit nabbed after fleeing Wal-Mart with backpack full of stolen merchandise

Eric Wayne Watson

A bicycling bandit was nabbed after reportedly fleeing Wal-Mart at Buffalo Ridge Plaza with a backpack full of stolen merchandise.

Eric Wayne Watson, 34, of Oxford, at about 1 p.m. Thursday entered the store and loaded a new Ozark Trail backpack with $347 worth of merchandise, according to an arrest report from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The items included a machete, hatchet, binoculars, knives, a knife sharpener, flashlights and hats. The backpack was also stolen.

He fled on a bicycle, heading north on County Road 103, but was soon apprehended by a deputy.

Watson had been trespassed from the store on July 30.

He was arrested on charges of grand theft and trespassing and booked at the Sumter County Detention Center. Bond was set at $3,000.

Earlier this year, Watson was arrested after paying an unwanted visit to a store at Southern Trace Plaza from which he had also been banned.

In 2014, Watson was arrested after punching a woman in the nose on Christmas Day.

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