Florida man believed to be violent fugitive from Costa Rica resigns City Council seat after shoplifting accusation

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Victor Barbosa could now face extradition to Costa Rica.

A Palm Coast City Council member who had been seeking re-election suddenly resigned his seat Tuesday. 

Victor Barbosa announced his resignation in a cryptic letter posted the day after he was accused of shoplifting from, and trespassed in, a local Walmart. He will also withdraw from his re-election bid.

“I, Victor Barbosa fear for my life. I repeat I fear for my life. All I wanted to do was help small businesses, fight corruption, and be the voice of the people of the community. I now understand why Council Member Howell resigned,” Barbosa wrote. “Effective immediately, I resign from City Council and withdraw my candidacy from the 2022 election. Thank you to all that voted for me. All I want is my peace back.”

Jack Howell, a former Palm Coast Council Member, resigned in the summer of 2020. Howell cited health issues related to a cancer diagnosis in his resignation. Barbosa replaced Howell on the City Council.

Barbosa did not elaborate on why he feared for his life and declined an opportunity to comment Wednesday. He did, however, deny he shoplifted to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

“I bought $300 worth of stuff,” Barbosa said. “I went through the self-checkout and I guess one of the items didn’t scan right.”

According to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Barbosa was scanning items in a self-checkout lane Sunday when he failed to scan an $18 clothing item. Walmart doesn’t prosecute theft under $25, so Barbosa was not arrested but instead issued a trespass warning and told he was no longer allowed on the property. An FCSO incident report said a cashier witnessed him skip the item and paused the transaction, forcing him to rescan all his items from a different register. It’s a company policy intended to give a shopper an opportunity to properly scan and pay for all their items. The cashier said Barbosa moved to a new register and again failed to scan the same item.

The Walmart incident is not Barbosa’s only legal issue. The Sheriff’s Office confirmed to Florida Politics that Barbosa is believed to be the same Victor Barbosa wanted for aggravated battery, extortion, kidnapping and assault with a weapon in Costa Rica. Barbosa was involved in a minor car accident in March of 2021. When law enforcement officers ran his information, they discovered the Costa Rican connection.

Barbosa said in a  Facebook post last July he was “shocked” and denied the allegation.

“This is the first time that I am seeing or hearing of this I don’t understand why they are doing this, I had dinner just the other day with sheriff rick (Staly) we talked he never mentioned anything of this nature,” Barbosa wrote. “All that im guilty of is the love of my City I do not take my job as a part time job I work every day sense I have been in office I love my job I love helping our community of this I am guilty.”

Staly said the U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the claim. He asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to investigate as well.

“Using investigative techniques, we believe Mr. Barbosa is the fugitive from Costa Rica,” Staly said in a letter to the FDLE. “Costa Rican authorities have apparent charges in multiple jurisdictions within Costa Rica to include extortion.”

Barbosa could face extradition to Costa Rica based on the results of the DOJ investigation.

Daniel Figueroa IV

Bronx, NY —> St. Pete, Fla. Just your friendly, neighborhood journo junkie with a penchant for motorcycles and Star Wars. Daniel has spent the last decade covering Tampa Bay and Florida for the Ledger of Lakeland, Tampa Bay Times, and WMNF. You can reach Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected].


  • Not exactly “justice for all@

    March 2, 2022 at 8:59 pm

    That he remained in office this long is stunning.

    • Phil Morton

      March 3, 2022 at 7:30 am

      He’s a Republican. They don’t care.

      • Desiree

        March 3, 2022 at 7:50 pm

        WTH. Stop the BS its time for all this crap to stop. So i suppose u voted for the loss soul in the WH. How do you like him NOW? Lol

  • Laurence J. Gillis

    March 5, 2022 at 7:29 am

    I thought Costa Rica was famous for NOT having an extradition treaty with the US. (Remember Robert Vesco, who so famously fled there in the 1960s?),

    Anyway, until I hear otherwise, an arrest warrant from Costa Rica remains as credible as an arrest warrant from China or Russia.

    Larry Gillis

  • Steve

    March 5, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    Well. One wacko gone. Now we need to get rid of the other 3.

Comments are closed.


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