North Ogden police say they missed catching an alleged knife-wielding grocery store shoplifter — until he hit a nearby convenience store minutes later.
Police Det. Paul Rhoades said witnesses claimed the 38-year-old suspect pulled out a large knife when confronted just before midnight Tuesday by employees outside the Smith’s Food and Drug store at 2560 N. 400 East. The employees said the man had left the store without paying for his groceries.
After threatening to kill the employees, the suspect fled on foot. Officers were beginning their investigation at the scene when they received a call that a shoplifter matching the suspect’s description had just left the 7-Eleven at 416 East. 2600 North — a block away from Smith’s.
Police recognized the suspect’s description as matching that of a man they had dealt with before, and after a witness confirmed a photograph of the man was the shoplifter, officers went to the suspect’s North Ogden home in the 2600 North block of 200 East early Wednesday morning.
When officers arrived, the suspect — described as “behaving erratically” — initially threatened them with what appeared to be the same knife witnesses had reported. At gunpoint, he dropped the weapon — though he then struggled with police and had to be shocked into submission with a Taser, Rhoades said.
Once handcuffed, police discovered that his knife was fake.
The man was booked into Weber County Jail on suspicion of aggravated robbery, retail theft, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia.