• Thrift store suspect is listed as a St. Johns County church director

    By: Kevin Clark , Action News Jax


    The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office charged a man with stealing from a local thrift store that hires people with developmental delays.

    Jude Fontus, 37, was charged with grand theft.

    Mark Tillman says this is the second time Fontus has tried to steal donated items from his business, Spectrum Thrift Shop.

    Action News Jax first aired different surveillance video earlier this month appearing to show the same suspect stealing chairs from the business.

    Tillman says he called deputies after he saw the activity on his cameras Tuesday.

    According to a police report, Fontus admitted to deputies that he was taking the donated items.

    Fontus gave a "no comment" when we went by his home to ask about the charges.

    He is listed as a director for the First Haitian Baptist Church of Orange Park.

    According to the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Orange Park, the Haitian church uses one of the former’s buildings for services.

    Tillman says the irony is he gives many of the items donated to his store to churches, or sells them at a very reasonable price.

    “If you’re a director or secretary of a church,” said Tillman, “then I would hope you would follow the laws that you’re worshipping, and I know one of those is not to steal.”

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