Man's desire to catch shoplifter not shared by store he robbed

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by Phillip Townsend - 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on July 17, 2014 at 5:54 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 17 at 6:02 PM

PORTSMOUTH---A shopper in Portsmouth says he put his own safety on the line to catch shoplifters in the act, but a police report was never filed.

Jerry Kooiman took matters into his own hands after seeing a man shoplift, then attempt to leave Lowe's on Victory Boulevard.

"So I approach him and say, 'Sir, did you forget to pay for something?'"

After the man shrugged him off, Kooiman says the two eventually got into a wrestling match in the parking lot.

"My sense of justice told me that he can't get away with it."

The man did get away, but not before Kooiman took several pictures with his phone.

He eventually leaves the store, but later than night he runs into two officers at a nearby 7-Eleven.

"They look it up, and no one ever called police. I was flabbergasted."

13News Now reporter Philip Townsend spoke to the store manager Thursday afternoon. He wouldn't acknowledge what happened, but the corporate Lowe's office did.

In a statement to 13News Now, Media Relations Spokesperson Amanda Manna said, "We appreciate this customer’s concerns. Lowe’s employee and customer safety is our first and foremost priority, and we partner with local law enforcement authorities to thwart shoplifting activity."

Kooiman believes that isn't enough. He's still shocked there was no further investigation.

"It's kind of a sad commentary on our society."

 

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