A former Republican candidate for Agricultural commissioner in Alabama, who once waved a rifle in a campaign ad about "thugs and criminals," said on Thursday that he had been a victim of "conspiracies" after his second shoplifting arrest in six months.
According to the blog Yellow Hammer, Dale Peterson was arrested at a Sam's Club in Hoover on Wednesday for stealing cashews. Security personnel reportedly observed the former candidate eating the nuts without paying for them.
Hoover police spokesperson Capt. Jim Coker said that Peterson was arrested for third-degree theft of property and then released from the Hoover City Jail on $1,000 bond at 6:39 p.m. on Wednesday.
In October of last year, Peter had also been charged with third-degree theft of property after he pushed his cart containing paper towels and beer through a checkout line at Walmart without paying.
The Republican later told WAPI radio host Matt Murphy that he intended to pay for the items but left the checkout line when he could no longer resist going to the restroom.
"I had no intention of stealing," Peterson said. "The only intention when I crossed that line was going to pee."
Peterson took to Twitter late Thursday night to explain his side of the story.
"Sometimes there are coincidences. Sometime there are conspiracies. And sometimes there are just facts. #SomethingAintRight," he wrote.
During Peterson's 2010 campaign to be Alabama's Agriculture commissioner, one advertisement featuring him toting a gun and riding a horse went viral.
"So, listen up," the then-candidate said in the ad. "Alabama Ag. commissioner is one of the most powerful positions in Alabama, responsible for $5 billion. I bet you didn't know that. You know why? Thugs and criminals."
"Here we are losing three family farms a day, illegals bused in by the thousands and Alabama's unemployment is at an all-time high. And what are my opponents doing about it? Stealing yard signs in the dark of night from my supporters."
(h/t: The Huffington Post)