Police arrest man for fleeing Home Depot with merchandise

By: Sarah Wojcik | Shelby - Utica News | Published March 25, 2015




UTICA — At approximately 2:35 p.m. March 5, police responded to the Home Depot near Hall Road and Schoenherr on a report of a retail fraud in progress. A loss prevention officer said he was watching the suspect inside the store.

When police arrived, they reportedly witnessed a man matching the description of the suspect — later identified as Diamante Jefferson, 23, of Detroit — running southbound from the Home Depot parking lot carrying a plastic grocery bag.

According to the police report, Jefferson crossed Utica Park Boulevard, looked directly at the responding patrol car, and then continued running south into the parking lot of Northpoint Village, an independent-living community.

Police activated the patrol car’s lights and siren and pulled into the parking lot. Jefferson ran toward the front doors of Northpoint Village, and police followed in the patrol car. Jefferson then ran toward the rear of the building and stopped in the snow, police said.

Police exited the vehicle and ordered him to stop, but he reportedly took off again toward Home Depot. Police pursued on foot and ordered Jefferson to stop several times, then gave Taser warnings and fired a Taser at his back, according to the police report.

The Taser probes missed Jefferson, but he tripped in the snow and fell in the parking lot of the independent-living community. When he fell, he dropped the plastic bag, police said, and the stolen merchandise spilled onto the pavement — plumbing supplies and hardware totaling $1,024.61.

The Home Depot loss prevention officer ran to the scene to assist Utica police while police ordered Jefferson to lie on his stomach and put his hands behind his back. Jefferson did not comply, police said, and instead struggled and pulled away.

Together, the loss prevention officer and police muscled Jefferson’s arms behind his back to handcuff him.

The loss prevention officer told police that he had observed Jefferson collecting items from the sales floor and concealing them inside his jacket. He said Jefferson made a small purchase at the self-checkout and attempted to leave the store.

When the loss prevention officer identified himself as store security and attempted to detain Jefferson, Jefferson reportedly ran south through the parking lot.

Police brought Jefferson to the Utica Police Department for booking and discovered that he had numerous prior convictions on his record and was on parole at the time of his arrest.

On March 6, Jefferson was arraigned on a charge of first-degree retail fraud at the 41-A District Court in Shelby Township.

“We sent him on to his parole detainer,” Faber said. “He didn’t do his entire sentence and was released early. Obviously, he went back to a life of crime. The parole department takes you right back to finish the sentence you were serving originally.”

Jefferson, who is currently lodged in the Macomb County Jail, is scheduled to next appear in court March 24. His court-appointed attorney, Kimberly Brown, could not be reached by press time.