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Archive for Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Former LHS wrestler subdues suspect in shoplifting

August 27, 2003

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It's been about 18 years since Kief's Audio/Video salesman Wes Bonner competed as a high school wrestler, but he's still got the moves.

Just ask the suspect Bonner wrestled to the ground Monday after a reported shoplifting incident at the Kief's store at 2429 Iowa.

Kief's employees said the 35-year-old man tried to leave the store Monday morning with a handful of DVDs stuffed in his pants. Three workers followed him across Iowa Street, watched him pick up a bag they said contained more DVDs, and chased him into an apartment complex, where two of the workers found him hiding behind a cabinet in a laundry room.

When the suspect tried to run, Bonner wrestled him to the ground and held him until police arrived.

"I just kind of tackled him and threw him into a wall," said Bonner, 36, a former wrestler at Lawrence High School.

Kief's employees Wes Bonner, left, and Joe Schwartz chased and
caught a shoplifting suspect Monday after the Lawrence man
allegedly left with store DVDs. The suspect ran across the street
to a gasoline station and then to a laundry room. The employees
subdued the suspect until police arrived.

Kief's employees Wes Bonner, left, and Joe Schwartz chased and caught a shoplifting suspect Monday after the Lawrence man allegedly left with store DVDs. The suspect ran across the street to a gasoline station and then to a laundry room. The employees subdued the suspect until police arrived.

Sgt. Mike Pattrick, a Lawrence Police Department spokesman, said police arrested the man, a Lawrence resident, on suspicion of stealing 19 DVDs worth $391.

Two other store employees-- stereo installation manager Joe Schwartz and vice president Rob Kiefer -- helped Bonner chase the suspect after a customer alerted them to the theft.

The police officer who arrested the man had two words for him: "You again," Bonner and Schwartz said. They said they were frustrated that the man appeared to be a repeat offender but still was on the streets.

Schwartz said that despite his 260-pound frame and the 100-plus degree heat, he didn't think twice about giving pursuit.

"I don't own the store or anything, but I do get paid from here. You're stealing from my pocket, then," he said. "Money's tight these days. Don't mess around with it."

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