CVS changes mind on charging homeless man for being locked in store

Sunday Times Newspapers

TRENTON – CVS Pharmacy changed its mind Thursday and decided not to charge a homeless man with larceny after he was locked in its store at 3575 West Road March 31.

The man, 56, was arraigned April 4 in 33rd District Court before Judge Jennifer Hesson, and charged with larceny of less than $200.

He had been scheduled for a preliminary hearing of the evidence against him April 11 before CVS Corp. decided to drop the larceny charges for the alleged theft of cookies, milk, soda and a heart monitor wristwatch.

He still was in custody as of press time until Tuesday when charges formally can be dropped.

According to police reports, when employees closed the store at 10 p.m. March 31, the man was asleep at the store’s blood pressure cuff chair. He awoke about 1 a.m., and the store’s alarm company alerted police of someone moving about the store.

While waiting for a key holder, police saw the man inside walking around the store. They reported seeing him walk behind the counter and look around.

The man then put his coat on in the rear of the store and walked toward the front of the store when police said he stopped and took a 2-liter Faygo Moon Mist off the rack, and continued toward the door.

Police ordered the man to unlock the door and he was handcuffed once outside.

The man admitted he took the pop because he was homeless and thirsty. He also reportedly admitted to taking the heart rate monitor. Police also found an opened package of cookies and a chocolate milk near the blood pressure monitor.

Employees who closed on March 31, reportedly told police they didn’t know how the man got locked in.

Police said the man also has two misdemeanor warrants for an arrest in Northville Township for urinating in public and Livonia for larceny. In addition, he has a mental order out of Wayne County Probate Court.

Hesson ordered the man not to enter any CVS stores and not go in any place that sells alcohol.

The man was still being held at press time

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at