Called for Traveling: Shoplifter Runs, Shoots, Nets Two Felonies
Tosa supermarket was an arena for overtime play that could land a Milwaukee man in the big leagues.
It seems to happen with astonishing regularity: Every week or two in Tosa, someone gets arrested for shoplifting and compounds that misdemeanor with another when found to have a small bag of pot or a pipe on hand.
But a man taken into custody Saturday did himself several times worse when he failed to heed normal intuition and all common sense and pilfered two magazines while carrying enough contraband to net an arrest on what could be two felony counts.
According to police, the 22-year-old Milwaukee man was detained about 3 p.m. when he was caught trying to steal one issue of SLAM, a basketball publication, and one of the hip hop magazine XXL, from Pick ‘n Save, 6950 W. State St.
While a police officer was interviewing the store security employee who had stopped him, the suspect slipped one hand into a pocket. The officer saw the move and warned him to keep his hands where he could see them.
Half a minute later, he put his hand in his pocket again. Again, he was warned by the official.
When he did it a third time, the officer turned him around and began to pull his hands behind his back to cuff him.
The suspect bolted into a fast break, but, cut off from the exit by the store security guard, ran madly into the aisles of the supermarket, with the police officer pounding behind him.
Juking up the frozen foods aisle, the suspect flung a plastic bag into the air. It's likely he hoped it would land on top of the tall freezer unit where, if he was lucky, it might not be found. But he got a little too much air under it – it sailed clean over and into the next aisle.
To add to his woes, the air ball was witnessed by another Pick 'n Save employee.
Racing back toward the front of the store, the suspect looked for a seam in the defense but didn't find it. The security officer was set in the exit lane, and she stood him up.
The 22-year-old would later claim the bag wasn't his and he didn't throw anything, but there was no denying what was in it. Tests showed that the five individually wrapped corners of a green, leafy substance, each a little less than a gram, contained marijuana; and the 11 individually wrapped corners of an off-white, rocky substance, each around a tenth of a gram, held cocaine.
So, the suspect fouled out with one municipal ticket for retail theft of less than $50 — in fact the two magazines retail for a total of just $13.99 — and two requests from the Wauwatosa police for charges of possession of an illegal substance with intent to deliver, a Class I felony each punishable by up to 3 1/2 years in prison and $10,000 in fines.
He could also be charged with a traveling violation — resisting arrest.