A dude who witnessed some brazen shoplifting at a Walgreens store in Alameda on Saturday decided to take matters into his own hands and tackle the guy, claiming citizen’s arrest.
The entire situation was caught on camera.
Witnessing what appears to be shoplifting at Walgreens isn’t exactly uncommon in the San Francisco Bay Area these days.
But what is uncommon is seeing a customer step in to stop the crime themselves. The man requested he only be referred to by his first name of Kevin.
“This is a time you can make an impact, make this happen,” Kevin said. “I see him leaving the store, and I threw him to the ground.”
The altercation, which happened on a Saturday afternoon, quickly escalated.
The guy starts calling out for his friend over in a getaway vehicle, and Kevin says he thought the guy was “fibbing” about having a friend. But, no, another guy comes up, and Kevin takes him on too, throwing him on the ground.
Kevin lost his shoes during the struggle.
Both suspects ran to the getaway car nearby.
Alameda police say that Walgreens recovered their stolen merchandise in this case, and they declined to press charges. There are no further details about any arrests.
The Alameda Police Department also gave a statement to ABC 7 saying it’s ok to video-record a crime in progress if you can do so safely, but if you get involved like Kevin did that may open you up to charges as well.
As has repeatedly been made clear in media coverage of Walgreens shoplifting incidents, while Walgreens may sometimes employee private security guards, those guards are trained not to physically intervene when a shoplifting incident is in progress.
Police say that if you witness a crime and can record it safely, it’s good to do so, but to get involved opens yourself up to litigation.
I could have been charged with assault and may be charged with assault,” Kevin said. “It’s infuriating.”
According to police, the stolen merchandise was recovered, and Walgreens did not seek prosecution.
Even so, Kevin said he would do the same thing if he were faced with the same situation.
“My mom would kill me, my friends will kill me, but yeah, I’d do it all over again,” Kevin said.
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