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State police officer uses Taser to stop Target thief

By 69 News, follow: @69news, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 17 2014 04:33:26 PM CST
Pa State Trooper car
HANOVER TWP., Pa. -

A 23-year-old Bethlehem man was stopped with a Taser after rolling a shopping cart containing $716 in stolen merchandise out of a Target store in Lehigh County late Thursday afternoon.

A concerned citizen helped police apprehend the thief by blocking in his car, but got his own car damaged in the store's parking lot.

Deandre Marquis Davis was charged with retail theft, resisting arrest, recklessly endangering another person and possessing an instrument of crime -- a knfe.

The crime occurred around 5:45 p.m. Thursday at the Target , 912 Airport Center Drive, Hanover Township  -- just south of Route 22 at Airport Road.

Davis was observed pushing a shopping cart into the store by Target loss prevention employees. 

He put several items of clothing into the cart, then headed to electronics, where he unsuccessfully tried to use a knife to cut a display model tablet off a steel cord.

He then used the knife to cut a pair of headphones of a shelf and put them into the cart. He also put other items from the electronics department into the cart.  He then headed to the grocery department.

Police said Davis then rolled the cart full of merchandise out of the store, without paying.

Trooper Ryan Seiple, a uniformed state police officer, confronted Davis outside the store, ordering the suspect to the ground. 

Rather than complying, Davis on foot.  Seiple chased him through the Target parking lot, ordering him to stop and get on the ground.

Davis made it to his car, a white 2000 Nissan Altima, and started the ignition. He refused to comply with Seiple's commands to get out of the vehicle.

A concerned citizen observed the confrontation in the parking lot and pulled his own Nissan Frontier behind Davis' Nissan, to stop him from driving away.  But Davis backed out of the space anyway, slamming the rear of his car into the driver's side of the citizen's car.

Seiple smashed the driver's side window of Davis' car and shot him with his Taser, so he could place him into custody.

Police said at the state police barracks in Bethlehem, Davis admitted he stole the items and had no intention of paying for them. He also acknowledged that he tried to run rather than complying with the officer's commands to get on the ground.

Davis, who resides in an apartment in the first block of West North Street in Bethlehem, was arraigned and committed to Lehigh County Prison. Bail was set at $50,000.

A preliminary hearing on the case is scheduled for Jan. 23.