On Dec. 19, a man who was being pursued by St. Johns County sheriff’s deputies for allegedly shoplifting $1,700 with of goods from a Wal-Mart in St. Augustine, Florida, led authorities to an alleged meth lab operating out of the back of a vehicle in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
The suspect allegedly placed the stolen items in the car near a bucket that contained an “active meth cook,” The St. Augustine Record reported.
The area was shut down temporarily as hazardous materials crews dismantled the meth cook and the unnamed suspect was arrested.
The shoplifting suspect had borrowed the car and authorities will store the car until it can be decontaminated by its legal owner, WTLV reported.
The four deputies who discovered the meth lab were taken to hospital for exposure to fumes, Chuck Mulligan with the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office told The Florida Times-Union. The measure was mostly precautionary, and the deputies were treated and later released.
It is currently unclear what charges the suspect could face.