published Saturday, January 28th, 2012

Police: Man steals $100 worth of meat from a Chattanooga Bi-Lo grocery store

With $100 worth of meat bulging from his pants legs and carrying what would not fit in his hands, David Lee Heathington exited Bi-Lo grocery store without paying, police said.

Plastic bags were tied to the inside of his pants and he had 10 packs of meat inside his pants legs when he was arrested just before noon Thursday, according to a Chattanooga police report.

He apparently went to the Bi-Lo after he left the CVS at 3800 Tennessee Ave. and is accused of stealing $420 in cigarettes from the pharmacy, police said.

Heathington, 47, faces charges of theft under $500 and resisting arrest, the report said.

When told by police not to return to the stores, Heathington "stated he would be there back tomorrow and doing the same thing. He proudly stated, 'You can't stop me,'" according to the police report.

He might be right.

Local court records show he has been arrested on 81 charges in Hamilton County since 1994. Out of those charges, more than half were theft arrests. In many cases, Heathington received a suspended sentence, records shows, but he has received sentences of 11 months and 29 days in jail.

During his Thursday arrest, Heathington resisted and kicked at an officer before being forced into the back of a patrol car, police said.

As of Friday night, he remained in Hamilton County Jail on a $7,500 bond. His next court date is set for Feb. 14 in General Sessions Judge David Bales' courtroom.

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