Anthony Rodriguez, 26, of Modesto, faces petty theft charges after he was apprehended after trying to steal air conditioning Freon and other items from the Ceres Walmart store on Sunday evening.
At 9:55 p.m. the store's loss prevention officer saw Rodriguez pushing a shopping cart full of miscellaneous items, then drop in four A/C freon canisters. The suspect strolled to the rear wall near the hardware department and pushed the cart through the emergency exit doors. The suspect was chased and told to let go of the shopping cart, which he did. Rodriguez then fled on foot.
Officer Vince Hooper was in the area and flagged down by the Walmart employee. Hooper found the suspect walking along adjacent businesses to the south of Walmart. Rodriguez attempted to duck behind a pillar to hide, then began to quickly walk toward Mitchell Road. When the officer told him to stop, Rodriguez replied, "No, I have to go." Because it appeared Rodriguez was about to run off, Officer Hooper grabbed him and held him in a control hold to handcuff him.
The Walmart officer positively identified Rodriguez as the suspect and requested criminal prosecution. Rodriguez was booked into the County Jail for petty theft.