Pasco County worker accused of looting concession stand

Published May 19, 2012

SAN ANTONIO — The parents running the concession stand at the San Antonio Dixie Youth League noticed they were missing about $1,000 worth of merchandise.

So they contacted the Pasco County Sheriff's Office, and Property Crimes Detective James Prack set up a hidden camera.

They caught the thief.

Over the span of a week, the camera showed a man taking food and drink from the stand four times.

Two bags of chips worth $2.

Two Powerade drinks worth $4.

A hot dog worth $1.50.

Another $1 bag of chips.

Authorities said the suspect, Christopher Hanson, 45, is a county worker who maintained the baseball field and other areas of the San Antonio Athletic Complex. Barbara DeSimone, Pasco County personnel director, said Hanson did not have keys to the stand. He walked in through an unlocked door.

When a detective later confronted him, Hanson admitted helping himself to the snacks, according to a Sheriff's Office report.

Hanson, a Spring Hill resident, was arrested Thursday on four counts of retail theft. He remains at the Land O'Lakes jail in lieu of $600 bail.

Hanson was hired in 1996 as a groundskeeper, then was among park workers who were laid off in October 2009. He was rehired the following year. His salary is $21,008.

He has no prior disciplinary record.

Hanson has been placed on unpaid leave pending the results of a hearing. Then he'll be having a talk with DeSimone.

"If this is found to be true," she said, "there's no excuse for something like that."