A drifter caught shoplifting apparently thought he was making a clean getaway when he fled the York Galleria after threatening a store employee with a butcher knife, charging documents allege.
Paul M. Matthews successfully escaped arrest, but he forgot to take his state identification card with him, according to police, who had little trouble solving the case.
According to Springettsbury Township Police, Matthews was caught shoplifting about 4:50 p.m. March 4 by Bon-Ton loss-prevention officer Peter Fouad.
Fouad detained Matthews after watching him shoplift three polo shirts, then took him to the loss-prevention office, where Fouad determined Matthews had stolen $225 worth of merchandise, his arrest affidavit states.
Fouad had Matthews turn over his Pennsylvania ID card and was gathering more information when Matthews started looking agitated and nervous, police said.
Big knife: Matthews tried to leave, but Fouad told him to stop, police said.
That's when Matthews pulled out a large butcher knife, held it above his head in a threatening manner and said, "Back up, let me go," the affidavit states.
Fouad later told officers he was concerned for his own safety and let Matthews walk out of the department store, police said. After all, he still had Matthews' ID, which he turned over to responding officers.
Matthews, 59, of no fixed address, was arrested and arraigned Monday, according to the office of District Judge Barry Bloss Jr.
He remains in county prison on $25,000 bail, charged with robbery, simple assault and retail theft.
-- Staff writer Liz Evans Scolforo can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.