LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Four employees of Sav-U-More Food Store on North Main Street chased a shoplifter for several minutes before capturing him in a vacant lot and holding him down until police arrived. The incident happened around 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Christopher S. Johnson, 29, of Littontown Road in East Bernstadt was arrested by London Police Officer Eric Stallard and charged with shoplifting and having an outstanding warrant.
Assistant Manager Daniel Osborne said Manager Calvin Collier watched Johnson put three packages of steaks inside a jacket pocket.
“He went through a customer lane and bought some pop and then went to leave,” Osborne said. “We (Osborne and Collier) confronted him. Calvin asked him where the meat was. He said he didn’t have any. He took out two packages. And, ‘No,’ Calvin said, ‘there were three packages.’ Then he took out the third one.”
Johnson said he would just leave and begged the manager not to call the police. Collier called the police, anyway.
When Osborne went to lock the door, Johnson pushed him out of the way and ran out.
“I chased him and then I caught him in the parking lot,” Osborne said. “We wrestled and fought. I got his coat thrown over his head so I could hold onto him. My boss, Calvin, another employee, Brad (Sexton), and another employee, Tara (Egner), came out to help me. Calvin was hitting him with a wood stick we carry in the office while I held hold of him. Two or three of the customers in the parking lot circled him.
“He was yelling while I was holding onto him,” Osborne continued. “Someone gave me a phone to call the police again and he darted off again.”
Osborne said he ran across the Speedway parking lot into a vacant lot that used to house a former Sonic. Osborne, Egner, and Sexton chased him down again. Egner and Sexton arrived first and got a hold of his arms.
“I got in front of him and got a chokehold on him,” Osborne said. “He was trying to kick me so I wrapped one leg around his lower legs and we held him there until three policemen came and threw him to the ground and searched him.”
London City Police found a package of Bic lighters on Johnson and some marijuana seeds. Johnson was forced to give the lighters back to the store.
Assisting Stallard at the scene was Sgt. Daniel Robinson.