UPDATED: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 11:14am
Mentor, OH — When a man being watched on surveillance cameras began shaking a salt shaker in a local Walmart housewares aisle, security guards' worries became reality. Mentor police were called and the suspicions were confirmed.
The man they were watching who was pretending to be shopping in the aisles of Walmart was making crystal meth inside the store.
Now, James Richardson, 37, of Perry, is behind bars.
Mentor Police Lt. Ken Zbiegien said officers arrested Richardson for stealing the ingredients while walking through the store, then mixing those ingredients on the spot in an attempt to make "shake and bake" meth.
Police said Richardson showed all the signs of someone on meth: nervous, jittery, constricted eyes and scratching at sores brought on by itching from the illegal drug.
Authorities said Richardson grabbed drain cleaner, camping fuel and other ingredients used to make meth and started shaking the mixture in a salt shaker inside the store Sunday.
Lt. Zbiegien said in his entire career on the police department dealing with drug crimes, he's never seen or heard anything like this.
The Mentor Fire Department was called in to clean up the hazardous material that Richardson spilled.
Walmart has the bizarre incident on surveillance tape and let officers see it. They declined to release the video or make a comment to NewsChannel5.
Richardson has a criminal history filled with drug convictions. His bond was set at $75,000.