Shoplifter hits Sport Chalet twice in two days

Sport Chalet in La Cañada was burglarized twice in two days, after a juvenile who’d stolen a hatchet from the sporting goods department on Saturday decided on Sunday he wanted another one.

The minor was arrested for burglary Sunday, as was the 20-year-old man who’d driven him to the store and was found in possession of several other stolen items.

On Saturday at 4:36 p.m., a loss prevention officer at Sport Chalet contacted the Sheriff’s Department to report a shoplifter had been caught on video surveillance stealing a hatchet. Unable to locate the suspect or additional witnesses, deputies took the employee’s statement and a CD copy of the video footage.

At 3:40 p.m. the following day, a Sport Chalet manager called the department to report the same young man from the surveillance video was in the store.When deputies found and detained the suspect, he had another hatchet in the waistband of his pants. The juvenile was arrested for burglary.

The suspect said he’d been dropped off by friends, that he’d sold the hatchet from the day before and wanted another one for himself, according to the sheriff’s report.

A parking attendant identified the vehicle the suspect had come from as a gray sedan. He couldn’t identify the driver or other passenger, but said they were wearing baseball caps and shorts.

Just then, two men fitting that description approached the store. The juvenile confirmed they were the friends who’d dropped him off.

When questioned, the driver of the sedan told officers he knew the suspect was shoplifting. The passenger said they’d gone to eat nearby while they waited for him.

Both men denied entering the store. A loss prevention officer told deputies surveillance had shown them entering, but he couldn’t tell if they’d taken anything.

When deputies searched the gray sedan, they discovered a sword, a replica of an AK-47 pellet gun and an iPad in the trunk. They also found a “white pouch containing several possible stolen items.”  The driver said it was his but was unable to describe its contents.

Claiming reasonable cause, deputies arrested the driver for burglary. Items booked into evidence included a gold chain, stereo, three air fresheners, sunglasses, a digital camera, shot glasses, a pocket knife and a windchime.

The driver and the shoplifter were booked at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. The third man was released to his father’s custody.

-- Sara Cardine,

Follow on Twitter: @SaraCardine.



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