Shoplifting Suspect Stabs 3, Flees

Times Staff Writer

Two security guards and a department manager of a Sears store in North Hollywood were stabbed Thursday in a scuffle with a shoplifting suspect, police said.

The three stopped the suspect outside the store in the 12100 block of Victory Boulevard after they saw him leaving with a box of electric razors, Los Angeles Police Lt. Ron LaRue said. LaRue said the man dropped the merchandise during the struggle and escaped through an alley behind the building.

Harry Roundtree, 36, a security guard, and Garth Marcus, 32, manager of the store's automotive department, were taken to St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, where they were reported in stable condition with minor stab wounds, police said. The second security guard, Marvin Ramsey, 38, was taken to the Medical Center of North Hollywood, where his condition was also reported as stable, they said.

LaRue said the security guards, who do not carry weapons, noticed the man putting electric razors in a small box at 10:43 a.m. and stopped him when he walked out a door leading to a large parking lot on the west side of the building.

The man dropped the box, stabbed one of the guards and ran about 50 feet along a sidewalk next to the building until he was grabbed by the second guard, LaRue said. He said the fleeing man also stabbed the second guard, who fell to the ground.

Marcus, the department manager, grabbed the man in the alley, but the suspect escaped after stabbing Marcus twice in the stomach, LaRue said.

Police Sgt. Larry Bradfield said the shoplifting incident was recorded by security cameras in the store.

Bradfield said it is possible that the second guard and the auto department manager were unaware that the man had a knife until each of them grabbed him.

"They could have just thought the other two were hit and fell down or something," he said.

Sears Roebuck spokeswoman Rita Ergas said: "If the weapon is visible, security guards obviously would not try to apprehend."

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