Two shoplifters at Kohl’s department store in Gainesville were arrested about 2 p.m. Monday for strong-arm robbery after police said they beat a Kohl’s employee who chased them through Butler Plaza and surrounding apartment complexes.
A loss prevention employee at Kohl’s saw Brandon Lee Williams, a 19-year-old Gainesville resident and his accomplice, a 17-year-old Archer resident, trying to steal jeans and other clothing items, according to Ben Tobias, Gainesville Police Department spokesman.
The Kohl’s employee called police and when the shoplifters ran, the employee chased them across Archer Road and through Butler Plaza. Resident witnesses called police as they noticed what was happening.
“What ended up happening was the Kohl’s employee chased them through an apartment complex, the Estates, on Southwest 20th Ave.,” Tobias said. “At that point, the suspects actually turned around and began beating the employee.”
The employee escaped the beating and jumped a fence where he flagged down a law enforcement officer responding to the scene.
“Multiple units got on scene, including our canine and joint aviation unit helicopter, and everything kind of worked out perfectly,” Tobias said.
Using the helicopter to track the suspects, law enforcement officers were able to direct the canine unit to where they were. The suspects were then surrounded and arrested.