The claim: A Florida man posed as a Walmart employee and kept $2,000 in cash after a four-hour shift
An unidentified Florida man has yet again caught the attention of social media users. This time, a man purportedly pulled off a scheme that yielded a sizeable illgotten paycheck.
"Florida Man stole Walmart clothes and secretly worked as cashier, he kept all the cash and made $2,000 in four hours," reads text in a Nov. 22 Facebook post.
The term "Florida man" has become synonymous with bizarre and hard-to-believe stories about residents of the Sunshine State. Several stories from the past few years – with headlines like "Florida man accused of giving beer to an alligator" and "Slice of pizza convinced Florida man to end police standoff" – are real.
The tale in the Facebook post isn't one of them.
The image shows a teenager arrested in 2019 for attempting to hire a hitman. The claim that someone entered a Walmart, posed as an employee for four hours and left with $2,000 in cash appears to be a combination of two different incidents.
USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the claim for comment.
Post combines separate stories
The Facebook post got one thing right: The man in the mugshot is from Florida. But the rest of the post is wrong.
Nicholas Godfrey was 18 years old when he was arrested and accused of trying to hire a hitman to kill a staffer at Fivay High School, where he was a student, the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2019.
Godfrey allegedly sent an Instagram message to another student saying he was looking "for a guy who could kill someone." He allegedly offered $100,000 "for the victim's head," an ABC affiliate in Durham, North Carolina, reported.
There's no evidence the Walmart incident described in the Facebook post actually happened. But something similar occurred in Virginia.
On Dec. 15, 2015, a man posed as an employee and took over a cash register at a Walmart in Fairfax, Virginia. The man entered the store wearing an employee vest and told one of the cashiers he was needed in the office, an NBC affiliate in Washington reported.
Once the employee was gone, the man took over the register, checked out one customer and stole an undisclosed amount of cash before leaving the store, local authorities said.
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He wasn't in the store for four hours, as the social media post claims.
The $2,000 figure in the post may stem from a separate incident in Florida.
In 2018, two men walked into a Walmart Neighborhood Market, the chain's dedicated grocery store, and put a series of items on the grocery belt. Among them were four Visa gift cards valued at $2,000, a Jacksonville, Florida, CBS affiliate reported.
One of the men distracted the cashier long enough for the other to cancel the sale using the cash register keyboard, the TV station reported. The pair walked out without paying for the items.
Our rating: False
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that a Florida man posed as a Walmart employee and kept $2,000 in cash after a four-hour shift. There's no evidence that incident happened as described.
The image in the post shows a Florida teenager arrested in 2019 for attempting to hire a hitman to kill a high school staffer. In a separate incident in 2015, a man in Virginia robbed a Walmart by dressing up as an employee and gaining access to a register. Three years later in Florida, two men stole four gift cards worth $2,000 by distracting the cashier and canceling the sale.
Our fact-check sources:
USA TODAY, Dec. 9, 2019, Yes, these are real. The best Florida Man headlines in 2019
New York Post, Nov. 11, 2020, 20 crazy Florida Man headlines that made the meme what it is today
iFunny, Nov. 22, Image
Reddit, Nov. 20, 2020, Reddit thread
Tampa Bay Times, Nov. 1, 2019, Pasco teen said he was joking when he solicited a hitman to kill a Fivay High staffer
ABC 11, Nov. 4, 2019, Florida student hires 'hitman' to kill school staff member, deputies say
NBC 4, Jan. 7, 2016, Man Posing as Walmart Employee Sends Away Cashier, Steals Money From Register
Fairfax County Police Department News, Jan. 6, 2016, Man posing as Walmart employee steals cash from register
Business Insider, Aug. 29, 2016, Walmart's neighborhood market is crushing the competition
CBS 47, June 13, 2018, Thief uses cash register keyboard at Florida Walmart to steal over $2,000
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Florida man didn't pose asWalmart employee, make $2,000