Good Samaritan, neighbors help nab shoplifter

Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 01:47:43 PM PST   Updated On: Nov 18 2013 06:30:37 PM PST
shoplifter crash
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A Good Samaritan and a group of neighbors helped police nab an alleged shoplifter and gave them some fairly big clues as to the identity of the shoplifter's getaway driver.

Witnesses first said they saw someone on foot chasing a guy carrying a five-pack of DeWalt power tools across a parking lot at Lowe's, located at 6606 N. Division. When Jason Lelbach saw the getaway car stop at Arby's to pick up the individual he called 9-1-1 to report what he had seen.

Lelback then followed the car as he spoke with dispatchers, however the shoplifters figured out they were being followed and accelerated as they hit a school zone on North Cedar Street.

"By the time we got to Cedar and Rowan we were going about 55 miles an hour down the road and they were going too fast for me and I thought I'm going to let them go and then Boom! they ran into this and they were probably going 70 miles an hour," Lelback said.

The shoplifters t-boned a van crossing the intersection, causing that vehicle to roll, but fortunately no one was hurt in the crash.

The alleged thief got out of the car and tried to make off with his box of tools, but was apprehended by neighbors.

The female hit and run driver got out of her car and fled the scene on foot. However she left behind her purse as well as one of her friends, and a check of the car indicated to authorities that it was registered to a guest at the House of Charity, all of which will help police in identifying her.