Police: Citizen stops thief at James Island grocery store

Published: Aug. 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 6, 2012 at 4:59 PM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Police say a 49-year-old man who attempted to steal items from a car at a grocery store parking lot was stopped in the act by a man who was witnessing the crime.

The Charleston Police Department charged Keith Mcdermott with breaking into a motor vehicle and given a criminal solicitation for damage to personal property.

On Saturday night, police officers were told that a man had attempted to break into several vehicles at a Harris Teeter parking lot on Folly Road and was attempting to break into a silver sedan.

When officers arrived, they detained Mcdermott, who was spotted near the silver sedan and resembled the description of the man who was seen attempting to break into the vehicles.

A witness said he saw the suspect looking into several vehicles and approach several people entering the grocery store asking for money.

The witness told the officers that he saw Mcdermott reach into the silver sedan window, unlock the vehicle and go through the center console of the vehicle. Police say when the witness saw the suspect pull out a wallet from the console, the witness confronted the suspect.

According to investigators, the suspect then dropped the wallet and tried to leave the area before being detained by police.

The owner of the sedan told police that a wallet was tampered with but nothing was missing. She also reported that a silver and black car key in the sedan had been damaged in and was bent.

The witness also told police that before the suspect entered the silver sedan, the suspect approached another sedan as it was leaving the parking lot. According to the witness, the suspect opened the door to that car and jumped into the front passenger seat.

The witness told police that he could see that there was a short struggle with the driver and the suspect before the driver was able to force the suspect out of the vehicle. The driver of the sedan then quickly drove and fled from the scene, the witness reported.

Mcdermott was locked up at the Charleston County Detention Center.

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