A good citizen felt compelled to act when he spotted a brazen shoplifter during a Walgreens visit in Alameda this past weekend. The customer in question quickly decided that his only option is to act – and take matters into his own hands.
Luckily the customer had crisp wrestling and was able to tackle the guy without much difficulty.
Once the alleged shoplifter was pinned to the ground the man who tackled him went on to claim it was a ‘citizen’s arrest’. Citizen’s arrest is an arrest made by a private citizen, in contrast to the typical arrest made by a police officer. Citizen’s arrests are lawful in certain situations, such as when a private citizen personally witnesses a violent crime and then detains the perpetrator.
It’s unclear if this case falls under that category.
ABC 7’s Dion Lim reported that the vigilante identified only by Kevin and offered no other details as to who he was. The vigilante even went so far as to ask another bystander to film the whole thing – apparently Kevin wanted some infamy out of the ordeal.
Once Kevin body slammed the shoplifter, the two can be seen struggling. Sadly for Kevin, the shoplifter appears to have had an accomplice who then helped him get rid of the vigilante.
“I could have been charged with assault and may be charged with assault. It’s infuriating. We’re all realizing it in Northern California, little, soft cities like this…”
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.