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Man ran from store with shoes, left car running


Police said a thief who got away with three pairs of shoes during a Tuesday evening heist in Fredericksburg left behind a big clue—a running vehicle.

The incident occurred about 6:30 p.m. at the Rugged Wearhouse at 2003 Plank Road.

City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said an employee confronted a young man after watching him stuff three pairs of shoes into his pants.

The man ran out of the store with the shoes and sprinted toward a 2001 brown Buick that was running in the parking lot. Instead of getting into the car, the man kept running and was last seen heading toward the nearby Popeyes restaurant.

Police responded and turned off the car while confiscating the keys. A check of the vehicle, which had not been reported stolen, showed it was registered to two people in Spotsylvania County.

One of them has a similar description to the shoplifter, a man in his 20s, who was wearing a black Baltimore Ravens cap.

Bledsoe said the case has been turned over to a detective, who will contact the owners of the car and review a store surveillance video in hopes of solving the theft of the shoes, which have a combined value of about $100.

Police left the car in the parking lot after taking the keys, Bledsoe said, but it was gone when police returned to the lot Wednesday.

An employee told police that the same man driving a similar car had shoplifted from the store before, but this was the first time police had been called about it.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404