A customer spotted a shoplifter stuffing his backpack with merchandise at a Walgreens. Fed-up with thieves taking what they didn’t earn, the vigilante decided to force the shoplifter and his accomplice to pay up.
Thanks to legislation burdening stores and protecting criminals, businesses have been forced to raise prices and even close stores as shoplifters grow more brazen. However, one man was so tired of seeing thieves avoid justice that he decided to deliver it himself.
While shopping at a Walgreens in Alameda, California, a customer witnessed and began recording a shoplifter taking bottles of pills off the shelves and stuffing them into a backpack. Outraged by the thief’s boldness, the customer, who requested to go only by “Kevin,” asked a bystander to record what he was about to do.
Determined not to let the suspect get away, Kevin followed the thief out the door and confronted him, physically stopping him from leaving the Walgreens store, KGO-TV reports.
“I said (to myself) this is a time you can make an impact, make this happen. I see him leaving the store… and I threw him to the ground,” Kevin recalled.
Kevin wrestled the suspect to the ground and pinned him so he couldn’t get away. He then sat on top of the thief as the suspect yelled out, “Leave me alone!” Kevin then yelled for bystanders to call the police.
“I am way bigger than you and I will f*** you up!” Kevin can be heard saying to the man as he writhed around on the ground. “I am placing you under citizen’s arrest!” yelled Kevin, who also blamed the man for increasing prices of goods.
Just when Kevin had the situation under control, an accomplice of the suspect heard his friend’s cries for help. The second suspect approached Kevin from behind, placing him in a headlock in an attempt to free his friend.
“He kept calling for his friend, and I thought he was fibbing. I thought he was faking it,” Kevin said as he described the turn of events. “He came up behind me and tried to get me in a headlock… then I picked him up by the groin and threw him to the ground.”
Kevin wasn’t fazed by the second suspect’s attempt to subdue him. Within an instant, Kevin picked up the man and bodyslammed him on the concrete. Unfortunately, both suspects managed to slip away from him and flee by car. The merchandise, however, was left behind.
Sadly, Kevin’s efforts may have been in vain. Walgreens refused to prosecute the suspects and it was reported that he could face severe charges for physically confronting the suspects.
“I could have been charged with assault and may be charged with assault. It’s infuriating. We’re all realizing it in Northern California, little, soft cities like this,” Kevin said.
Still, Kevin claims he would do it all over again. For him, it’s about the principle of the matter and not about the consequences of intervening. He wants justice, regardless of how it’s administered.
Law enforcement officials discourage anyone from confronting shoplifters or performing a citizen’s arrest. They don’t want citizens putting their lives at risk for merchandise and reiterate that even well-meaning customers could face charges for getting involved.
Disturbingly, Walgreens has incentivized shoplifters by refusing to prosecute the thieves. Perhaps, if more customers took their patronage elsewhere, Walgreens might realize that allowing thieves to get away with stealing from them is bad for business in more ways than one.