Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Fort Myers Man Faces Multiple Charges

A Fort Myers man was charged Tuesday in connection with a Jan. 26 T.J. Maxx shoplifting incident in which deputies say he threatened store staff members with a knife and later led deputies on a pursuit.

Terrance Christian, 29, was taken into custody as he left the Walmart at 11225 U.S. 41 North. At the time of his arrest deputies discovered that he was in possession with Walmart merchandise that he had taken from the store without providing payment.

In connection with the incident at the 5010 Airport-Pulling Road T.J. Maxx, Christian is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, petty theft third or subsequent conviction and driving on a suspended license habitual offender.

He is additionally charged with petty theft third or subsequent conviction, driving on a suspended license habitual offender and resisting arrest without violence in connection with Tuesday’s Walmart incident.

This is what happened, according to reports:

T.J. Maxx employees monitoring store surveillance cameras saw Christian conceal $280 worth of jeans and shirts under the jersey he was wearing. He was accompanied by a man and a woman. The woman was handing him merchandise and the man appeared to be watching to make sure nobody saw what they were doing.

As the three entered the store parking lot, a T.J. Maxx loss prevention officer approached them and asked them to stop. Christian then pulled out a knife and made stabbing motions toward the store employee. Christian said he would stab him if he came closer. A second loss prevention officer arrived and Christian made a similar threat toward him.

The three suspects got into a light blue Chrysler, with Christian behind the steering wheel. The store employees obtained the vehicle’s license plate number and notified deputies of the crime.

Believing that the car may be heading north on Interstate 75, A CCSO deputy spotted the vehicle a short time later near the East Terry Street overpass in Bonita Springs. He followed it northward to the Alico Road area but was unable to continue the pursuit due to the suspect vehicle’s speed, which was more than 100 mph.

On Tuesday, a CCSO deputy saw Christian enter the North Naples Walmart. Realizing that Christian was wanted in connection with the T.J. Maxx incident, he called additional deputies to respond. Deputies approached Christian as he left the store but Christian refused to obey their commands. He eventually was taken into custody. After Christian was arrested deputies learned that he was wearing a girdle beneath his clothing. Concealed inside the girdle were four shower curtains valued at $31. 84. Walmart employees confirmed that the shower curtains were store merchandise.