Cheese-in-the-Shorts Shoplifter Loses Appeal of Prison Sentence

A Schuylkill County man who tried to shoplift a block of cheese by shoving it down his shorts has had his prison sentence upheld by the state Superior Court. Randy J. Ratliff, 43, of Pottstown, had tried, in vain, to convince the court to void the 7-month to 2-year prison term he received for the crime.

Ratliff executed the cheese caper at the Redner’s grocery store in Shenandoah on July 20, 2012, according to court records. He stuck the cheese in the waistband of his shorts, not knowing a store security officer was watching him.

Ratliff then picked up some other items in the store and was walking to the checkout counter when the cheese fell out of his shorts. He ran from the store without paying for about $15 in merchandise.

Shenandoah Borough police charged him with felony retail theft. On appeal, Ratliff contended that the felony grading of his case was illegal because he had not been notified that he would be so severely charged because he was a repeat offender.

Court records show that Ratliff has been the subject of about a dozen criminal prosecutions for various crimes in the county since 1994. In denying his appeal this week, the Superior Court found that prosecutors properly informed Ratliff that he was facing a felony count for the cheese theft because of his criminal record.

A county jury convicted Ratliff in the cheese case during a trial in April. He is serving his sentence in the state prison at Camp Hill.



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