FARMINGTON – What started as a shoplifting case grew to charges of robbery, theft and assault for a 20-year-old Park Hills man. The incident happened Tuesday afternoon.
According to records, a Farmington Wal-Mart Supercenter prevention loss officer working at about 4 p.m. Tuesday happened to see a suspicious subject making his way through the store. As the store employee watched, the man picked up a package containing a two-way radio.
The man reportedly moved from department to department, first removing the radio from its package, then slipping it into his pocket. He went so far as to move to another department and linger before walking back to the front and exiting the store.
That’s when the store employee approached the man. He asked that the item be returned to the store. The suspect supposedly raised his shirt as to indicate he was retrieving the radio. He then turned and ran across the parking lot. As the store worker caught up to him, the suspect bit the worker twice before other help could be called.
Now the suspect, yet to be formally charged, faces counts of second degree robbery, misdemeanor theft, and third degree assault. He was booked at the county jail with bond set at $26,500.
Chief of Police Rick Baker said apparently the man’s first mistake was trying to shoplift. His second, and more serious mistake, was using force – a bite in this case – in commission of the theft. Missouri laws allow that use of force to take the property of another person or business raises the offense to “robbery” status – a much more serious crime.