Scrubs stealer stuffed

Published 9:51 pm Saturday, May 31, 2008

An apparently intoxicated individual was captured by a store operator as he attempted to steal 12 scrubs from a local store.

Police reports state the incident was called in at 4:22 p.m. Wednesday. The call reported a suspicious individual seen riding his bike around the back of Paul’s Pastry. Sherri Thigpen, Paul’s Pastry owner, said she saw the individual riding a bike around the back of the store as she was taking out the trash. After she went back inside and watched his progress via the security system hooked up to the whole shopping center and notified all the business owners using her call list.

Scrubs N Such store operator Nella Blair said she got a call from Thigpen that a suspicious looking person was in the area and kept her eyes open. She knew a table was out in front of the store with a number of scrubs for sale. Blair said she watched as the man came to the store, wearing no shirt and apparently no underwear. Blair said she could tell he was not wearing underpants since his pants were hanging low on his waist. He left and came back a short time later wearing a black AC/DC shirt and a backpack.

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Blair said the suspect then approached the table and took the time to match colors and sizes of the scrubs he was allegedly stealing. She noticed that the man was stumbling, incoherent and acting very suspicious.

“He was up to no good,” Blair said.

After carefully folding the scrubs he put them in his backpack and walked two stores down. There he stopped at the table in front of a candle store and took an electric air freshener refill, Blair said.

The owner of that store, Konnie Anderson, said she was also watching for the man and saw him take the item. She noticed there was something odd about his behavior.

“He seemed a little incoherent, we’ll put it that way,” Anderson said.

After assessing that the man seemed to be of little threat in his current state Anderson walked up to him and took her item out of his hand, she said.

Blair saw Anderson take her item back so she called out to the man to stop because she wanted her items back as well.

The man then made a break for the bike he parked at the end of the shopping center and got on it. Blair said she stopped him by pulling him off the bike by his backpack.

“He didn’t stop so I just stopped him,” Blair said.

Picayune Police officers were called out to the scene and Blair said she tried to hold the man in the area until they arrived. As she did the man kept saying he wanted to leave and pleaded with her to let him go because all he wanted to do was get something for his family. She kept him there until she noticed he had a metal object in his pocket, which could have been a weapon. At that point she thought it would be best to let him leave, she said.

As the suspect got on his bike to leave a patrol car pulled up right in front of the suspect and took him into custody. The police report states the suspect’s name is Brad Michael Cummins, 31, of 22 Oak Hill Rd.

The officer stated on his report that Cummins had an odor of intoxicating beverage on him so he asked Cummins how much he had had to drink. Cummins told the officer about nine beers and that he stole the clothes because he wanted to give his family something nice, according to the report.

Cummins was charged with shoplifting of $263.88 in merchandise and public drunk.