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Police: vehicle hits, kills accused shoplifter

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Dec 13 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 15 2012 05:40:20 AM CST

Police: Vehicle hits, kills shoplifter

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa -

Muhlenberg Police said an accused shoplifter died Thursday. They said a man trying to get away from Walmart security was hit by two cars. The pants he stole were in the street as he gasped for air.

Police said the man killed was 22-year-old Tyler Shepler of Muhlenberg Twp. They said shoplifting calls are not unusual but having the call change to a deadly accident is unusual.

An ambulance raced to save the life of a man who left three pairs of pants on Allentown Pike, the extension of 5th Street highway outside of Walmart in Muhlenberg Twp., Berks County.

"It wasn't scary. It was just insane because this guy ran out in front of us," said Jerry Burkert, "He clipped the car and then got ran over by another car because of something that he did that was wrong."

Police said around 3:45 p.m. Thursday they were originally responding to a shoplifting call.

"He was shoplifting at Walmart, was approached by lost prevention in the vestibule and after he was approached that's when he took off from lost prevention through the parking lot to get away," said Officer Sam Calabria of the Muhlenberg Police Department.

Police said Shepler ran across the grass right into oncoming traffic. After he was hit, police said they found him lying on the ground gasping.

He was taken to Reading Hospital where he died around 4:30 p.m.

"But it's a shame if his life if it does end, it has to end that way because of stealing," said Burkert.

Some Walmart shoppers didn't hear about the young man's death.

"I don't know what to say about that. I'm sorry to hear that," said Hector Pitre.

"You wonder where their head was. What they were going through at the time to make them that desperate," said Crystal Arndt, "It's sad."

The cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results.