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Man faces felony shoplifting charge

Published February 10. 2014 02:27PM

Lansford police have issued a felony warrant for Carl Lucas, 36, whose last known address was 162 E. Phillips St., Coaldale. Lucas faces a felony retail theft charge stemming from an incident on Dec. 3, 2013.

Here’s what happened, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed with District Judge Casimir Kosciolek by officer Jason A. Helmer.

At about 6 p.m. that night, Helmer was sent to the Family Dollar store on Patterson Street to investigate a shoplifting report. While on his way, he was alerted by the Carbon County Communications Center that the shoplifter had run away. A store employee gave chase, but told police he believed the shoplifter jumped down an embankment at 501 E. Ridge St.

He described the man as having tattoos on his neck and a large cross tattoo on his chest.

According to the employee, the man, later identified as Lucas, came into the store and bought something. As he was leaving, the theft detectors at the door activated. the employee told Lucas to stop. Lucas pulled a package of AA batteries from his pocket and said he had forgotten to pay for them.

The employee said Lucas described himself as “wasted” and looked as though he was under the influence of drugs. The employee said Lucas shoved him into the theft detector and ran with the $7.69 package of batteries.

At about 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, the employee called police after seeing Lucas walking along East Phillips Street in neighboring Coaldale. Borough police officer Joseph Krebs went out to talk with Lucas and saw that his description matched that given by Lansford police.

Lucas told Krebs he didn’t recall having been in the store, and that he was an alcoholic who drank mouthwash and had psychiatric problems. Lucas said he had three prior convictions of retail theft, and was on probation in Lehigh County for one of them.

The store employee identified Lucas, as did his co-worker and a witness. When police tried to get in touch with Lucas, his sister told the he had left town between Dec. 8 and Dec. 9, 2013, because he knew he was to be arrested and “could not deal with it.”

He is believed to be in Allentown. The charge is a felony because Lucas three prior shoplifting convictions.

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