Alleged shoplifter dies as Wal-Mart workers catch him

Middle-age suspect was placed in a chokehold by the security officer
Nov 25, 2012


An alleged shoplifter died Sunday while being apprehended by employees outside a Wal-Mart store in an Atlanta suburb.

Two store workers who helped catch and subdue the suspect before police arrived were placed on leave. A security officer who police say may have put the suspected thief in a chokehold is no longer employed by Wal-Mart.

Police said the unidentified man took two DVD players from the Wal-Mart in suburban Lithonia around 1:30 a.m. The man, who appeared to be middle-age, left the store through the front door, but was caught by the employees in the parking lot where a “physical altercation” took place, according to the police report.

When police arrived, they found the employees on top of the man. An officer who handcuffed the man detected no resistance from him and ordered the employees off. The man was unresponsive and bleeding from his nose and mouth. He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The preliminary investigation indicated that the suspect was placed in a chokehold by the security officer. The cause and manner of death is to be determined by the DeKalb County medical examiner’s office.

“No amount of merchandise is worth someone’s life,” Wal-Mart spokeswoman Dianna Gee said Sunday in a written statement. “Associates are trained to disengage from situations that would put themselves or others at risk.”


By Jill Vejnoska - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (MCT)

©2012 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services



When confronted, suspected shoplifters can be real POS.

Dr. Information

Sorry, but I just can't feel sorry for a thief.


When I was in retail mgmt., I wondered about the POS that could probably afford it, but stole it anyway.

We once caught a guy who had a good job and was a deacon in his church that attempted to steal some fishing lures and other related items. He was real belligerent.

A day or so later, his pastor called and begged that we not prosecute. The POS came back into the store and apologized; all meek and mild this time. All I could think of was: hypocrite.

Against my objections, upper mgmt. gave him a pass.


retail mgmt=stock boy


You've shown yourself to be an ignorant POS per usual.


They should give the man a promotion. Wal-mart dont know a good man when they got one.


what a shame... all for a dvd player!!!


That's what ya get for stealing. Don't wanna die unnecessarily? Don't commit a crime! He got exactly what he deserved and Lithonia is a better place with him gone!


Certainly, no one condones stealing but the penalty for stealing shouldn't be death. WalMart's property is not worth a man's life, even if he is a thief. Some of you people have your priorties mixed up if you think property rights are more important than a person's life.


@ jas:

As a Prog, you understand that he was just tryin' to redistribute the wealth.

If some person poorer than you robs your home, why would you want your possessions returned?


Hold the phone. While I don't think anyone is saying a dvd player is worth someone's life, I do think those of us sane people are saying if this man didn't steal, this wouldn't of happened. @jas, your comment would be a near comparison of someone who was speeding, didn't pull over for a cop, rolled their car off the road and died and then those of us, blaming the cop for this persons death. Was speeding worth someone's, but consequences for all illegal actions (yes even some minor ones) sometimes end up in death. The moral to the story......DONT STEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Your comparison to someone dying from rolling their car after speeding would be comparable to the WalMart thief if the police officer had rammed the guys car to get him to stop. The WalMart thief didn't trip over a curb running from the police and die as a result from hitting his head when he fell. The WalMart thief died from being put in a choke hold by a private security guard. It wasn't an accident. It was a private security officer going way too far to stop a minor theft offense. It isn't comparable to a home invasion like Contango implies. It was a shoplifting gone bad. My point is that no one should die or be executed for mere shoplifting. Anyone who thinks so, has their priorities mixed up.


@ jas:

The question is related: Why would you prevent someone much less fortunate from stealing your processions?

In your distopia, isn't all property State owned?


arnmcrmn that is the worst analogy ever. This man stole two dvd players and was chased down by three men in which they choked him until he died. When the police arrived he was dead. To reverse your horrible analogy, if you see a group of teenagers drinking alcohol does that give your the right to go out and put a plastic bag over the head tie a rope around there neck and sit on them until the cops arrive. Just because one law is broken does not mean that all other laws and rights are thrown out the window. What did these three grown men think would happen if you cut off a mans airways for ten minutes.


This guy shouldn't of stole....bottom line. Hard to feel sorry for someone like this. Who's to say this man wasn't swinging at the security guys in the parking lot and they subdued him till the police arrived. Maybe he had a heart condition and his theft and the altercation caused him to die. Bottom line again is dont steal. Next story...old news.


Ok, Then next time you get pulled over for speeding don't be surprised when you get ripped out the window of your car and beat on the head with a billy club.


nice try comparing. failed attempt however. Id have to speed away like an idiot, not pull over and take off running when I did to get roughed up. Trying to compare a speeding ticket to theft....LOL.


Im comparing one broken law to another. Since when is up to you to decide what broken law is worth getting beaten and choked to death . And remember it was not police officers who killed the man it was walmart employees. The comparison was mocking you but apparently i overestimated your ability to understand written word.


you people are sick