A Florida man allegedly used his MAGA hat to steal a woman’s purse, authorities in the Sunshine State claim, based on video of the heist.
According to local independent television station WJXT, 79-year-old Donald Lightfoot, Jr. was arrested and charged with grand theft after footage from a St. Patrick’s Day party held at a law office in Orange Park, Florida.
The outlet says they were alerted to the theft by the woman whose purse was stolen.
“I had no knowledge who he was,” the woman told WJXT. “It wasn’t until after he was confronted by law enforcement with my belongings underneath the driver seat of his vehicle along with the surveillance that I became aware of this individual and who he was.”
In the video–provided by her husband who works at the law office–the man police identified as Light walks over to a table and rifles through the woman’s diaper bag before removing her purse and then using the hat popular with supporters of President Donald Trump to conceal the score.
Light also apparently had another hat on his head during the alleged theft–that hat read, “LOCK HER UP” a phrase popular with devout Trump fans critical of his 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton.
John Merrett is Light’s defense attorney. In comments to the outlet, he appeared to attribute the alleged theft to a deterioration of his client’s mental faculties due to his status as a septuagenarian.
“He’s 79, almost 80. People around him are beginning to see signs of dementia,” the attorney told WJXT.
Merrett also said that this was his client’s first arrest. When asked whether the charge would surprise those who knew the man, he answered in the affirmative.
“That would be putting it mildly,” Merrett told the outlet. “You think people behave in a certain way and this is not part of anybody’s impression of Mr. Light.”
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office was also questioned about whether Light’s age and potential comprehension issues might have played a role in the man’s arrest. A spokesperson told WJXT there was no evidence to support that direct assertion–but noted that Light was acting in a way that didn’t make sense during the arrest.
Light’s wife is a prominent local Republican Party activist.
[image via screengrab/WJXT]