A 44-year-old man was hospitalized for chest pains Tuesday after he allegedly attempted to flee a Burbank Vons with $864 worth of meat and cleaning supplies stuffed in a shopping cart, police said.
The man, Artur Khalatyan of Glendale, had entered Vons on Pass Avenue at 2:30 p.m. and allegedly tried to make off without paying after filling his shopping cart with 21 packages of “expensive cuts” of meat and 11 bottles of cleaning detergent, said Burbank Police Lt. Eddie Ruiz.
But a store employee who recognized Khalatyan from a similar stunt he allegedly tried to pull off just days before had already alerted loss prevention officers, Ruiz said.
When Khalatyan – who was wearing a beige suit and button-down shirt – allegedly walked past cashiers and out of the store without paying for the merchandise, loss prevention officers attempted to detain him.
Khalatyan subsequently punched an officer in the face and ran, according to police reports.
A motorist in the parking lot saw the tussle and followed Khalatyan out of the parking lot – at a distance – while calling the police.
Burbank police officers nabbed Khalatyan roughly a half mile away on Alameda Avenue near the Ventura (134) Freeway, where he complained of chest pains and difficulty breathing, Ruiz said.
He was transported to a local hospital, where he was held for observation.
Khalatyan was arrested on suspicion of robbery and is due in court later this month.
This isn’t the first incident in Burbank related to stolen meat.
In October, two men stole $120-worth of carne asada from Vallarta Supermarket on Sherman Way. And as recently as January, a 46-year-old Whittier man was arrested after allegedly stealing a pound of sliced ham from the same store.
-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News