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Police arrest homeless man outside Walmart for allegedly huffing stolen duster cans

SPRINGETTSBURY TOWNSHIP, York County — Springettsbury Township police arrested a 32-year-old man outside a Walmart store last week after they say he stole six cans of Ultra Duster and began huffing them in his car.

Michael Palmer Barone, who carried Massachusetts identification but told police he is homeless , is charged with Possessing Solvents for Release of Toxic Vapors/Fumes and three counts of Retail Theft in the incident, which occurred March 7 at the Springettsbury Township Walmart on the 2800 block of East Market Street.

According to police, officers were called to the scene at 10:09 a.m. by the store’s loss prevention officer, who reported that a suspect, later identified as Barone, was huffing compressed air canisters in the store’s parking lot.

Police found Berone slumped in the front seat of a white 2005 Saturn Ion with Massachusetts registration, according to the criminal complaint. Berone was holding a can of Ultra Duster compressed air in his right hand, with the nozzle held to his nose, breathing in the fumes when an officer approached his vehicle, police say.

Berone was reportedly “very confused, disoriented, and unsteady on his feet” when police asked him to exit his vehicle, the criminal complaint states.

Police say there were six cans of Ultra Duster visible in Berone’s vehicle. The store’s loss prevention officer confirmed the cans had been stolen. Each can was $4, for a total loss of $24, police say.

Police reviewed the store’s surveillance video, which showed Berone entering the store on three different occasions — at 4:37 a.m., 6:06 a.m. and 7:55 a.m. — and stealing two cans of Ultra Duster each time, leaving the store without payment.