Adult shop thief pleads guilty

Published 12:03am Saturday, May 18, 2013

Court records Thursday show a trip inside a local adult novelty shop and tanning salon ended with a low, instead of a the high Joseph Michael Strickland was looking for last October.

Strickland, 23, was arrested in 2012 after burglarizing the Babbie Body Exchange. Sheriff’s deputies and Opp Police were dispatched after the alarm system was triggered when Strickland opened the door.

District Attorney Walt Merrell said, “Strickland was trying to steal what he called ‘legal weed’ when the officers arrived.”  1018 CCSO, Body exchange

During a previous interview with storeowner Kim Barber, she confessed to finding Strickland, his pockets full of merchandise.

“He was hiding behind a huge box of a sex swing, and all I could see was his pants leg,” Barber said. “I turned around quietly and told the officers, ‘He’s in there.’”

“Would you believe he had stuff you could buy in a convenience store?” she said. “He had tobacco pipes, some cigarette rolling papers, some energy shots and energy bars.

“You would’ve thought, that in (that) place, he’d had found more interesting stuff to stick in his pockets than that.”

Strickland, who was represented by Trey Burgess, pleaded guilty Thursday before Circuit Judge Lex Short to burglary III and was sentenced to 46 months in prison.

“This is Strickland’s first serious offense, and he is going to prison,” Merrell said. “I hope would-be burglars consider this before they break the law.”

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