A well-known wireless telephone company's slogan led to the arrest of a Pensacola man this afternoon after he took a media crew's microphone and stashed it in a backpack.
Donald George Yeo, 27, of 46 Manner Dr., was charged with grand theft.
The incident occurred 1:30 p.m. while Pensacola Police officers were working security outside the Pensacola Civic Center during a political stop involving President George Bush. Officer Pearce Baker was one of the officers monitoring protesters at the intersection of Alcaniz and Gregory streets.
Meanwhile, WEAR reporter Dan Thomas and cameraman Rodney Lambert were also at the intersection doing a story and waiting for the President to arrive. Baker said Thomas had placed a wireless microphone on a power box behind the group of protesters in an effort to get audio on them as the President's motorcade arrived.
When Thomas went to check on the microphone, he noticed it was gone. Thomas then notified police.
Baker, Officer Jim Bell and Sgt. Robert Hurst then approached the protesters and asked if anyone had the microphone - but no one said anything. In an effort to find the microphone, Lambert turned up the audio on the camera across the street.
Hurst then walked among the protesters repeating the Verizon Wireless slogan, "Can you hear me now?" and watching Lambert, who was listening and indicated when he could hear Hurst talking.
The microphone was found in a backpack on the ground but no one admitted owning the backpack.
Officer Brad Burrus, who was in a vehicle about 30 yards away, was also watching the group. When he saw the officers among the protesters, he called and asked what was wrong. Burrus then said he had seen the suspect remove something from the power box and place it in the backpack.
The wireless microphone, valued at approximately $600, was recovered and Yeo was taken to jail.