Shoplifter refuses to give up alcohol, says “No, this is mine!”

A Safford police officer was dispatched to Walmart on Sunday in reference to a man who was caught shoplifting and refused to give back the three bottles of alcohol he had taken when an employee approached him about the alleged theft.

According to the police report, a store employee saw the man open his backpack and place 3 bottles of alcohol inside. The man then walked to the grocery doors and outside. The employee approached the man and told him to give her the 3 bottles of alcohol. The man refused and said, “no, this is mine.” He reportedly walked away and got into a red van.

While the officer was talking to the employee and assistant manager, he was notified that a Thatcher police officer had stopped the red van on 14th Avenue just north of Highway 70. The Safford officer drove to the location of the traffic stop and talked to the passenger, who matched the description of the alleged shoplifter. The man told the Safford officer that he was coming from Walmart.

The man initially told the officer that the only thing he got from Walmart was some water. The officer asked if he had stolen some alcohol. The man claimed that he already had the alcohol. The officer told the man to retrieve the alcohol from his backpack. The man opened the backpack, which contained three bottles of alcohol. The officer placed him under arrest for shoplifting. The man’s intoxication level was higher than the jail would allow.

The man ultimately admitted that he had stolen the alcohol. He was cited and released. The officer told him that he was also trespassed from the store.

The total price of the alcohol was $72.99. The officer took pictures of the alcohol and returned it to Walmart.