Shoplifting suspect tries to escape Walmart, car won't start - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Shoplifting suspect tries to escape Walmart, car won't start

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THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Thomasville Police Officers responded to Walmart in reference to a shoplifting Sunday night.

Employees told police a man left the store with a shopping cart full of items without paying. The employees said the man pulled knife and began swing it at them.

He then ran to a vehicle parked in the parking lot and attempted to leave however, but the car would not start, so he took off running.

He was identified as David Mathis, 22, a Camilla resident, and was caught on U.S. Hwy 19 South by the Thomas County Sheriff's Department and Turned over to Thomasville Police Department.

He's charged with Aggravated Assault (2 Counts), Theft By Shoplifting (Felony), and Possession of a Firearm or Knife During Commission of a Crime. Mathis is in the Thomas County Jail.

Here is the official police report from  Officer Roger Wade Glover-

On Sunday, May 19, 2013 at approximately 2114 hours, I, Officer Tucker, Officer Bagget, and Lt. Glover responded to Walmart in reference to a shoplifting that had already occurred. Dispatch advised that the suspect had pulled a knife on Walmart employees that had tried to stop him from leaving the store.

Myself and Officer Bagget canvassed the area for the suspect, and Lt. Glover made contact with Walmart staff. Lt. Glover advised that the suspect`s wife was still on scene in the parking lot. Myself and Officer Baggett arrived on scene. The suspects wife, Ashley Mathis, stated she and her husband, David Mathis had stopped at Walmart to buy a bulb syringe. Ashley Mathis stated that her husband stayed in the store an unusually long time. She stated she then saw him come out of the store with a shopping cart filled with merchandise.

Ashley Mathis stated she then saw Walmart employees confront her husband, at which time he pulled out a knife and began swinging the knife at the Walmart employees. She stated David Mathis then ran to the car and attempted to flee the scene in the vehicle. Ashley Mathis stated the vehicle`s battery was dead, and could not be started. Ashley Mathis stated she exited the vehicle, not wanting to be accessory to her husband`s actions.

Ashley Mathis stated her husband then fled on foot towards U.S. Hwy 19. Walmart Employee, Maria White, who witnessed the incident, made a written statement. She stated that she observed the Walmart Employees Brian Thomas and Jean Rutland follow, David Mathis out of the store. White stated that David Mathis had ran out of the store with a shopping cart full of merchandise without paying for the property.

Maria White stated that when David Mathis was confronted by Brian and Jean, he pulled a knife and came towards them swinging the knife. Walmart Employee, Jean Rutland, who was a victim to the assault, made a written statement. She stated that at approximately 2030 hours, she observed a young man acting suspicious. She stated that Brian Thomas was also watching the subject at that time.

She stated that David Mathis had parked a shopping cart full or merchandise near the entrance to the store. Jean Rutland stated that Mathis then exited the store with the merchandise passing the last point of sale without paying. Jean Rutland stated that the introduced herself as Walmart security and advised David Mathis to stop.

She stated that David Mathis refused to stop. Rutland stated that Brian Thomas then yelled at Mathis to stop, at which time Mathis turned around and pulled a knife and began swinging it at her and Thomas. Walmart Employee, Brian Thomas, who was a victim to the assault, made a written statement, He stated that at approximately 2000 hours, he observed a subject acting suspicious.

 He stated that David Mathis, exited the store with a shopping cart full of merchandise. He stated that when he and Jean Rutland stopped David Mathis, Mathis pulled a knife and charged at him and Jean Rutland swinging the knife. Walmart video footage shows Brian Thomas and Jean Rutland stopping David Mathis in the Walmart parking lot. David Mathis can then be seen pulling a knife from his pocket and charging towards Brian Thomas and Jean Rutland.

David Mathis then runs to a silver car and attempts to leave. The passenger in the vehicle, Ashley Mathis can be seen exiting the vehicle. David Mathis then exits the vehicle and flees on foot. David Mathis was apprehended on U.S. Hwy 19 North by Thomas County Sheriff`s Department. Deputies transported Mathis back to Walmart where he was identified by Brian Thomas, Jean Rutland, and Maria White. David Mathis was turned over to Officer Baggett who transported David Mathis to intake. A hold was placed on David Mathis for CID.

David Mathis provided officer of the location where he threw the knife once he fled the scene. Officers went to area in front of Walgreen's Greens and discovered the knife in a drainage culvert. Investigator Newberry recovered the knife in a drain pipe near the intersection of U.S. Hwy 19 south and Hwy 319. Investigator took possession of the knife to be placed into evidence. All of the merchandise was photographed, inventoried, and returned to Walgreen's- Mart personnel.

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