Blytheville man arrested after several thefts

Blytheville man arrested after several thefts

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - A man was arrested in Blytheville Saturday in connection to several different thefts.

According to a news release from Captain Scott Adams with the Blytheville Police Department, officers responded to Shoe Carnival, 305 N. Service Rd., in reference to a shoplifting April 21.

The assistant manager told police that a man came into the store and walked into the women's section.

Employees recognized the man as a previous shoplifter.

They reportedly saw him put a pair of Nike shoes in his pants.

When employees confronted him about the shoes, he ran out of the store.

The next day, on April 22, officers responded to the Shoe Carnival again for an alarm.

When they arrived, police noticed the front door was shattered and a Nike shoe box was lying nearby.

A quick search of the store was done, but the suspect was not there.

When the manager arrived, he showed police the surveillance video and identified the man as the same shoplifter they dealt with the day before.

The man stole seven pairs of Nike brand tennis shoes valued at approximately $700.

During the investigation, detectives were able to identify the man as Wendell Shields.

Then on April 23, officers responded to Hays, 200 E. Main St., in reference to a robbery.

The security video showed a "heavy set black female approximately 5'5" to 5'8" tall come into the store through the main entrance," according to the news release.

The woman reportedly told the cashier that she had a gun and wanted the money out of the register.

A fight started between the woman and store employees.

During the altercation, a man, later identified as Shields, can be seen stealing items and running away.

While reviewing the video, detectives realized Shields came into the store just after the woman. She then provided a distraction for Shields to steal cigarettes.

Around 6 a.m. on May 30, officers responded to Hays again for an alarm activation.

When police arrived, they saw a man heading east in the parking lot.

The man was carrying several items as they ran away through an alley between Hays and McAdoos.

Officers caught him in the area of Main and Lake Streets.

The man had ten cartons of Newport cigarettes with him.

Shields was arrested and taken to the police department where he was interviewed.

Officers saw forced entry into the garage door area of Hays.

During the interview, Shields said he found the bag of cigarettes outside of the store.

He denied the burglary but admitted to stealing cigarettes from Hays in the past.

Shields was arraigned in Blytheville District Court on Monday.

His bond was set at $75,000 cash only.

He is expected in circuit court on June 30.

Shields also has a criminal history.

His previous charges include vehicle theft, theft of property, residential burglary, possession of firearms by certain persons, second-degree assault and third-degree battery.

He is also listed as a parole absconder.

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