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Homeless Man Allegedly Steals Ferret From Florida Pet Shop, Uses It as Weapon

It's one thing for shoplifters to hide plunder in their pants. But a live ferret?

Police say a homeless man in north Florida did just that. And he made it out the door before being challenged.

Thirty-eight-year-old Rodney Bolton is charged with theft over the $129 animal that police say he took from a pet store in Jacksonville Beach.

A 17-year-old witness confronted Bolton in the parking lot and was bitten by the animal after the man allegedly shoved it in the teen's face.

That confrontation makes the ferret a "special weapon" under Florida law. So Bolton also faces battery charges for dangerously wielding the animal.

Calls to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Department to see if Bolton has a lawyer were not answered early Thursday.