Shoplifter pulls knife on store employees

Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – A 21-year-old Ecorse man was arraigned Nov. 25 in the 24th District Court for a Nov. 24 armed robbery and felonious assault.

Jorge Vargas-Vasques is accused of pulling a knife on four loss prevention personnel about noon at Meijer, 3565 Fairlane Drive.

Loss prevention personnel said they were told by staff that the man, suspected of stealing from them in the past, was inside the store. He selected a $65 work jacket in the men’s clothing area, put it on and then passed all points of purchase without paying for it.

When four loss prevention officers approached Vargas-Vasques in the vestibule of the store, they identified themselves and asked him to step into their office. He then attempted to run out of the store, and three employees tried to restrain him.

Two employees each grabbed one of his arms, and the three fell to the floor. Vargas-Vasques tucked his hands under himself as he fell, and was able to access the front pockets of his zippered jacket.

As he and the four loss prevention personnel and the subject wrestled in the vestibule area, Vargas-Vasques pulled out a knife, flipped it open and pointed it at his would-be apprehenders. The four loss prevention personnel immediately backed up, fearing for their well-being.

As the subject exited the store, he reportedly yelled, “You’re lucky, I almost cut your asses.” When a loss prevention employee followed Vargas-Vasques out the door, he threatened to kill them.

A description of his vehicle — an older model blue and silver pickup truck — was relayed to police, who already were en route for the earlier shoplifting report. An officer was able to block in Vargas-Vasques’s vehicle on northbound Fairlane Drive approaching Oakwood Boulevard.

Police found a knife on him, then handcuffed and secured him. Vargas-Vasques then was identified by one of the threatened loss prevention employees.