Baggy Pants Foil Florida Church Robbery Suspect's Getaway

A robber who was running away with his hands full of loot from a Florida church was caught when his baggy pants started slipping off, a sheriff's spokeswoman said.

She said the man, Anthony Jason Garcia, 31, had been praying in the sanctuary of a large Catholic Church near Walt Disney World on Wednesday when he arose, went into the gift shop, grabbed the cash drawer and ran toward the courtyard with church maintenance director Joe Larkin in pursuit.

As they ran, Garcia's baggy pants began to fall down, said Orange County Sheriff's spokeswoman Jane Watrel.

"So here Garcia is, both hands holding the cash drawer and trying to pull up his pants. So he (Larkin) sees an opening," Watrel said. "He plunges for him and pulls his pants down further which trips up the guy."

Larkin put Garcia in a wrestling hold called a "cradle" until deputies arrived a few minutes later, Watrel said.

She said 12 customers and four clerks were present at Mary, Queen of the Universe Shrine during the robbery, but most of them did not immediately notice what was happening because Garcia was so quiet and did not use a weapon.

Garcia was arrested on a felony robbery charge. He remained in the Orange County Jail on Thursday.

Church officials say the church gift shop is the largest in the southeastern United States. The sheriff's office said it was its policy not to disclose the amounts of money in robberies.

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

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