Valdosta police: Shoplifting suspect gets violent, goes for a gun

Cameron Chandler
Cameron Chandler(Lowndes County Jail)
Updated: Nov. 16, 2020 at 11:43 AM EST
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - About 6 p.m. on Nov. 13, a Valdosta police officer that was working extra duty at the Valdosta Mall investigated a shoplifting that had just occurred at Belk’s, according to the Valdosta Police Department (VPD).

Cameron Chandler was being stopped by a loss prevention officer after he was spotted with a bottle of cologne in his clothing.

“As the officer began to try to detain Chandler, he became physically and verbally combative,” VPD officials said in a release. “After a brief struggle, the officer was able to gain control of Chandler and hold him until other officers arrived to assist. When the other officers arrived on the scene, Chandler, who had been handcuffed behind his back, kept trying to reach in his pants pocket.”

Officers were able to control his hands, and they found a handgun from the pocket he had been reaching for, according to police.

Police said while officers were trying to get him in a patrol vehicle to take to Lowndes County Jail, he continued to resist officers by using his legs to push away from officers.

The handgun that was recovered had been reported stolen through the Valdosta Police Department, earlier this year.

Chandler was taken to Lowndes County Jail. He is being held on several felony charges, including possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, theft by receiving stolen property and obstruction of an officer.

Police said he is also facing three misdemeanor charges, including obstruction of an officer, battery, and shoplifting, and further charges are pending.

The officer and the loss prevention officer both got minor injuries during the physical struggle.

“This was an excellent job by our officers in ensuring that this dangerous offender was taken into custody. No call for service is ‘routine’ for our officers, and this is proof as to how quickly events can change,” Leslie Manahan, VPD chief, said.

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