Columbus ‘Cologne Cowboy’ wanted on multiple warrants after allegedly stealing high-end men’s fragrances

John Ferris Clark

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Columbus City Attorney’s Office has named a man with a penchant for pilfering men’s fragrances its “Fugitive of the Week.”

John Ferris Clark, 53, has been dubbed the “Cologne Cowboy” after being charged with stealing over $1,800 worth of high-end men’s fragrances.

The prosecutor’s office says Clark has 5 outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Clark is accused of stealing the fragrances over a two-day period in August 2016 from two stores. Clark had been released from prison Aug. 9, 2016 after serving a felony theft charge. The next day, according to court records, he stole $135 worth of grilling equipment from a supermarket on the far east side.

First Assistant City Prosecutor Bill Hedrick says although the crimes are not violent in nature, there are still victims.

“Those costs … those are passed on to the consumer,” Hedrick says. “Ultimately, when I have to prosecute this person or even if we have to jail this person, those are passed on to the taxpayer.”

Two weeks later, he allegedly stole the cologne. The prosecutor’s office lays out the timeline in a press release:

“According to reports, at approximately 8:00 p.m. on August 21, 2016 Clark stole 11 bottles of cologne, including Armani Black Code, Acqua Di Gio and Invictus men’s fragrances, worth a total retail value of $715.88 from a Reynoldsburg area supermarket. Thirty-four minutes later Clark appeared at a Whitehall area supermarket and stole six bottles of cologne, including Obsession for Men, worth a total retail value of $312.94. Approximately two hours later, at 10:36 p.m. Clark returned to the Reynoldsburg area store he struck earlier in the evening and stole four more bottles of cologne, including Ralph Lauren Polo Blue, worth a total retail value of $235.96. The following day, Clark returned to the Whitehall area supermarket he struck the previous evening and stole nine more bottles of cologne worth a total retail value of $569.91.”

The attorney’s office says Clark has at least 17 prior theft charges against him and a criminal record that includes breaking and entering, felony receiving stolen property, felony drug possession, felony violation of probation, illegal possession of drug paraphernalia, and criminal trespassing.

Anyone with information on John Ferris Clark is asked to contact First Assistant City Prosecutor Bill R. Hedrick at 614-645-8874 or brhedrick@columbus.gov.

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