The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 22, 2009

Wal-Mart workers thwart robbery

By PATRICK BUCHNOWSKI

A shoplifter armed with a handgun and a knife was jailed after he scuffled with Wal-Mart employees who were trying to stop him from leaving the store, police said.

The incident, which occurred Friday at Richland Town Centre, had customers screaming while others fought to subdue the thief, township police said.

In a court document, police said Wal-Mart security attempted to stop Jeremy T. Johnson, 19, from leaving the store with a Sentry Safe he allegedly had not paid for. Johnson then tried to push his way past security and wrestled with employees and customers.

During the scuffle a black handgun fell from Johnson’s pocket and slid across the floor.

“Several patrons became in a panic and started to scream,” police said.

Police later determined the handgun was a pellet gun. A folding knife was found in Johnson’s pants pocket.

The incident was captured on Wal-Mart surveillance video.

Johnson, of the 900 block of Bedford Street, was charged with robbery, simple assault, retail theft and receiving stolen property.

He was arraigned by District Judge Max Pavlovich of Richland Township and sent to the Cambria County Prison after failing to post $25,000 bond.