LAGUNA NIGUEL, Calif.—An ongoing investigation remains after a male suspect shoplifted a pair of shoes from a Kohl’s department store on Saturday, Nov. 27, and brandished a knife at the store’s security guard just before fleeing the scene.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department (OCSD) Sgt. Todd Hylton told The Epoch Times members of the community expressed their fears on social media about “smash and grabs” uprising in the county, a national and state trend seen in the recent months.
“We just want the community to understand that this was not related to that, and this was an isolated incident,” he said.
When deputies arrived on the scene, OCSD called for additional resources from Air Support and a K-9 Unit to search for the suspect.
However, deputies were unable to locate the suspect who Sgt. Hylton described as a “Hispanic male in his 30s.”
California state law under Penal Code 495.5 treats shoplifting as a misdemeanor, and first offense convictions carry up to 6 months in county jail with a maximum fine of $1,000.
“In the cities that we service and unincorporated areas, this is rare,” said Sgt. Hylton. “We’re not really seeing a major uptick in this area.”