Southern Minnesota Employee Made A Bold Move To Stop A Thief
An employee at the Walgreen's in Albert Lea made a bold decision to follow a thief out to their vehicle and then get inside with the thief in an attempt to get back stolen gift cards yesterday. The result of the bold action was police being able to apprehend the Kansas City Missouri man, after he allegedly drove back to the store with the employee, begging her to get out of the car.
I don't know if I love my job enough to follow someone out who just stole $4,000 in gift cards, but we know there is at least one person in Southern Minnesota who would. According to a post by Albert Lea Police, a Walgreens employee followed a man out to this vehicle after re-charging pre-paid debit cards, but not paying for them. It's then that Albert Lea Police indicate the employee tried to pry the gift cards away through an open window.
The post by Albert Lea Police indicates that the original post wasn't entirely accurate as the investigation moved forward, but this is what police allege happened.
Upon further investigation. The suspect had rechargeable debit cards, with intent to add additional money to them. Once cards were updated, he left the store without payment. The clerk, attempting to retrieve the cards through an open vehicle door, entered the vehicle rather than being struck as it backed. NOTE - the original release was what was known at the time reported.
On Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 2:22PM, Albert Lea Police Officers were dispatched to Walgreens, 703 Main St. E. for what was reported as a burglary. Store employees reported a male subject stole $4000 out of a register and left in a black SUV. A store employee attempted to retrieve stolen property as the suspect vehicle began to leave the parking lot. The employee got into the vehicle as it left the parking lot. The employee rode in the suspect vehicle around several blocks before the suspect brought the employee back to the store and pleaded with her to get out, which she did. An ALPD Detective located the vehicle as it was leaving Walgreens the second time. The detective attempted to stop the vehicle and the pursuit ensued. Speeds reached upward of 45 MPH. The vehicle stopped on Front St E. and Broadway Ave S. The driver, Devon Henry Smith, 45 years of age from Kansas City, MO was taken into custody without further incident. Henry was transported to the Freeborn County Adult Detention Center Henry on charges of fleeing in a motor vehicle and felony theft.
The suspect led police on a short pursuit after fleeing Walgreens again, after seemingly returning the employee who was attempting to prevent the theft.
The current charges listed for Smith as of this morning were just fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle.