Shoplifting Chase

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

A shoplifting suspect didn't know what he was in for when he entered Pam Wallace's small Rockton grocery store on Tuesday morning.

"Owning the store you want to make sure that he's caught. That he doesn't do it again," says Wallace.

Even if it meant putting her own life in danger, Wallace used her car to block the suspect's vehicle in the parking lot next to the family-owned Shopping Bag grocery store. When the suspect flashed a gun, Wallace let the car pass, but she called police while pursuing the suspect's car through the streets of Rockton and Roscoe.

"Your reaction is just you want to catch them," says Wallace.

While the suspect didn't make off with any goods Tuesday morning, the store's owners already had a beef with him. Last week he made off with several of the store's priciest steaks.

"He had been in here previously, so we and the workers were on alert for him," says Wallace.

Three police departments joined Wallace's chase for the shoplifting suspect. While the Rockton mom provided valuable information, police say she was in a very dangerous situation.

"Someone who's desperate enough to use a gun in a shoplifting, you're really not sure what else they'll use the gun for and when," says Rockton Police Chief Steve Dickson. "The best thing to do is provide a description and a license plate and we'll take it from there," Dickson adds.

Wallace admits chasing the suspect wasn't the best choice she's ever made.

"Hopefully he won't come back here. I don't think he will."

But she says her instinct was to protect her family's store. The suspect, a white male in his 50s, was traveling in a black Chevy Cavalier with a temporary Illinois license plate. The car was driven by a black male.

If you have information, call Rockton police.


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