Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960

 

By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Shoplifting turns to robbery at Lake Stevens Safeway Police arrest suspect in parking lot

 


Spectators and visitors to the Frontier Village Shopping Center on Friday afternoon, November 22 were in for quite a shock when police cars swarmed the parking lot and arrested a man right in front of their eyes.

Interim Lake Stevens Police Chief Dan Lorentzen explained that the arrest was made after a 911 call about a suspected shoplifting that turned into a robbery at Safeway.

“There was a gentleman at Safeway loading up on alcohol and he tried to leave the store,” Lorentzen said. “An employee asked him if he a wanted a cart for his alcohol and the suspect shoved the employee. A customer saw what was happening and grabbed the guy and held him down.”

Lorentzen explained that the shoplifting suspect became a robbery suspect when the alleged assault occurred with the employee. Officers were on scene quickly and arrested the man across the parking.

“The officers got there and the guy had broken loose and made it to McDonald’s to a waiting car,” Lorentzen said. “Police arrested him after taking him out of a vehicle and the suspect was booked into Snohomish County Jail. The vehicle was seized as evidence.”

The suspect had approximately $700 worth of alcohol.

With stores now able to sell hard liquor shoplifting has gone up and many times these are very organized criminals.

“We work very close with local stores and since we now have privatized liquor, that seems to be the choice of criminals. It used to be things like diapers,” Lorentzen said. “There are people out there who do this for a living. They are organized. Our detectives will be looking to see if this was an organized retail theft, but there is a little more to the elements to prove that.”

 

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