New Castle News

December 4, 2012

Police chase theft suspect at Walmart

By Staff
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Police said a retail theft suspect knocked merchandise off shelves in an effort to avoid arrest at Walmart Saturday.

However, officers arrested Alex John Benkowsky, 21, of 821 S. Mercer St. at the store and filed additional charges against him as a result.

According to a criminal complaint filed in the office of District Judge Jennifer Nicholson, Union Township police were summoned to Walmart about 4 p.m. The Mahoning Township police department also responded.

A suspect was pointed out to officers after he had been observed taking a cell phone. When officers approached the man, they said, he began to run.

Officers gave chase in the store, they said, and the suspect threw items off shelves, apparently in an effort to slow police. He eventually was cornered in the front of the store and he dropped to the ground.

Benkowsky was accused of taking the phone, valued at $250, and damaging merchandise totaling $281. He was charged with retail theft, possessing instruments of a crime, criminal mischief, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest