Shoplift Arrest Update

By: Erica Hurtt
By: Erica Hurtt

While it was dangerous, it might have been worth it. Earlier this week, Pam Wallace confronted and chased an alleged shoplifter and his gun-carrying accomplice through the streets of Rockton and Roscoe.

She didn't catch him, but thanks to her description and calls from 23 News viewers who heard Wallace's story, police did. Forty-six-year-old Mark Sumpter was arrested a day later at the Grant Park Tavern in Rockford Bar when a customer tipped police off.

"Evidently he knew what they were here for. I guess he kind of just walked over to them the same time they walked over to him. He kind of knew what was going on," says Carl Cooney, the Tavern's owner.

Police discourage us from chasing armed criminals around town, but they say they can't be everywhere and tips from residents help solve hundreds of crimes.

Shopping Bag owner Pam Wallace said it's a "wonderful, nice feeling" to know her efforts and those of 23 viewers helped catch Sumpter, but she's still concerned about the alleged shoplifter's gun totting accomplice who was with him in the car on Tuesday.

Sumpter is charged with retail theft. Police allege that he stole some expensive steaks from the Shopping Bag in Rockton some time last week. Authorities say he has a criminal history but the arrests are for less serious crimes.


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