A 30-year-old man suspected of stealing cigarettes was locked inside of a California convenience store with the clerk. Events that unfolded after he was locked in the store have led to further charges for more serious crimes. In addition to robbery, the accused is now facing charges of resisting arrest and battery of a police officer. The incident took place at a Stockton convenience store located near North California Street and East Sonoma Avenue.
According to the convenience store clerk, the accused came into the establishment early on a Sunday morning. The clerk allegedly witnessed the accused man walk behind the counter and steal a pack of cigarettes. The clerk pushed the alarm button, and then locked the doors of the convenience store in an effort to detain the accused. After allegedly being threatened and pushed by the accused, the clerk unlocked the doors and allowed him to escape.
Later on, the accused was taken into police custody in Oak Park for the incident in the convenience store. During the confrontation with the police officer, the accused allegedly fought and resisted the arrest. It is not known whether the accused had a criminal record prior to the incident.
Depending on the evidence that the prosecution has against the accused and the accused record, a criminal defense lawyer may be able to affect the outcome of these charges in a number of ways. If it is a first offense, it may be easier to negotiate for the defendant to plead guilty to lesser charges, such as shoplifting. A lawyer may also negotiate for a lesser sentence, such as community service instead of jail time. If the evidence against the man is weak or contradictory, a lawyer may move for the charges to be dismissed completely.
Source: FOX News, "California clerk reportedly locks himself in store with robbery suspect", August 26, 2013