Tip jar thief pursued to ShopKo, then chased around the storeIt started last Wednesday afternoon with the apparent theft of a tip jar downtown at the Dish and the Spoon café. It ended a little later with the arrest of a 28-year-old Hudson man who was chased around ShopKo and finally nabbed as he tried to sprint for his freedom through the front-exit doors. The man told officers after his arrest that he was impressed that they could catch him.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
It started last Wednesday afternoon with the apparent theft of a tip jar downtown at the Dish and the Spoon café. It ended a little later with the arrest of a 28-year-old Hudson man who was chased around ShopKo and finally nabbed as he tried to sprint for his freedom through the front-exit doors. The man told officers after his arrest that he was impressed that they could catch him.
The suspect faces charges in both Pierce and St. Croix counties, including shoplifting, attempted theft, resisting arrest and a probation violation.
He allegedly swiped the a tip jar from Dish and Spoon, left the café on foot, but was followed by an employee in a car all the way to ShopKo. Police were called.
The first officer to find the man inside ShopKo said he immediately denied trying to steal tennis shoes from the store. He then allegedly bolted and the chase began.
The suspect’s wallet was found to be empty but he had several crumpled bills and change in his pocket. He denied that it came from the tip jar, saying a friend had given him money to buy bread and milk.
Last week River Falls police also:
--Investigated the theft of a donation jar and about $50 inside it from Whole Earth Co-op, 126 S. Main St. The jar was kept next to a cash register. No arrests yet.
--Arrested a 49-year-old local man for physical abuse of a child. The alleged victim is the man’s 2 ½-year-old son.
--Arrested a 20-year-old UW-RF student for shooting paint balls at passing vehicles in the 1000 block of East Cascade Avenue late last Wednesday night. The student was dressed all in black, including wearing a black face mask. When police arrived he told the officer he was just playing tag with a “girl.” No tag-playing girl was found, but the officer did find a paint-ball gun, Co2 tanks and a hopper full of orange paint balls near a snow bank by a sidewalk overlooking Cascade Avenue. The 20-year-old, who lives in an apartment on that block, was given a $144 fine for illegal discharge of an air gun.
--Arrested a 24-year-old local man for disorderly conduct and a probation violation in the 300 block of West Park Street at 5 a.m. Saturday. Officers were sent there because of a home-intruder alert, with the suspect pounding loudly on a garage door. The man, described as very drunk, was found sitting in the driveway. He thought he was home at his address. He wasn’t, and he passed out soon after his arrest.
--Arrested a 21-year-old UW-RF student for disorderly conduct in the 400 block of Pierce Street at 3:15 a.m. Saturday. The student was allegedly pounding on the door of a house, not his own, trying to get inside. The frightened female resident told him to go away and hurried upstairs to call for help. Officers found the young man still at the house, drunk and confused, saying he was told to meet a friend at this address. The student was booked at the police station, issued a $177 fine and given a courtesy ride “home” to the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity house, 1024 E. Cascade Ave.
--Continue to investigate the beating of a 21-year-old River Falls man after 1 a.m. Saturday on the sidewalk outside Bo’s ‘N’ Mine. The man needed stitches in the hospital emergency room for a split upper lip. He apparently was punched and then kicked in the face. He didn’t know his attackers, but said there were two or three of them, white males, and that the kicker wore white tennis shoes. The victim also said that, while in the bar, he made some questionable references about drug dealing in River Falls, and was then followed by the assailants when he left the bar.
For more, please read Police Beat in the A Section of the April 6 print edition of the River Falls Journal.