The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 3, 2013

Marijuana found in Geneva grocery store

‘Significant amount’ of drug discovered after shoplifter arrested

Star Beacon

GENEVA — A bag of marijuana was found at the Geneva Giant Eagle last week, presumably dropped by a man caught shoplifting, Geneva police reports show.

Scott Braat, 44, spent three days in jail after stealing an energy drink “shot” from the grocery store last week, Officer Derrick Yopp said.

The store’s loss prevention officer, who caught Braat stealing the $2.50 drink, discovered a bag of marijuana under a desk where Braat had been sitting while he was detained, police reports show.

The store’s officer found the drugs while Geneva officers were booking Braat into the Geneva City Jail. The officers reminded Braat of his Miranda rights and then questioned him about the drugs.

“He adamantly denied that the marijuana was his, but then he advised that if it was a single marijuana cigarette found in an empty cigarette pack, then it was his,” Yopp said.

But the marijuana, found in a clear plastic bag, could not be directly tied to Braat, police reports show. The drug was not in the store’s retail area.

Yopp said the bag contained “a significant amount of what appeared to be and smelled of marijuana.”

The officers never found Braat’s single marijuana cigarette.

Braat pleaded guilty to a single theft charge in Western County Court. The fine was waived and three days of jail time was served, court records show, and Braat is ordered to pay $95 in court costs within 90 days.

At the time of his arrest Braat was wanted on a warrant for failure to pay fines and a probation violation through the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.