Witness Pursues Jewelry Thief, Holds Suspect At Gunpoint After Fearing For His Own Safety


VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON – A man who witnessed a jewelry store robbery chased the suspect, only to be cornered and in fear for his life. He drew his handgun in self-defense and held the thief at gunpoint until police arrived.

According to Vancouver Police Department spokeswoman Kim Kapp, the investigation found that the suspect, 41-year-old Andonis D. Thompson came into the jewelry department at J.C. Penny under the guise of picking out a ring for his girlfriend. He claimed he wanted to compare the clarity of two rings. Another shopper in the store jokingly said, “Now, don’t you run off with those.” (The employee) stated right at that moment, the suspect looked straight at her and then started to flee toward the exit,” according to the affidavit.

A family who witnessed the theft unsuccessfully attempted to block Thompson from escaping, and another witness continued to chase the suspect outside the mall.  Somehow, the witness was cornered by the thief in the parking lot of a nearby hotel. “The suspect then started coming toward the citizen, which put him in fear for his safety. The citizen, who has a concealed weapons permit, displayed his firearm and asked bystanders to call police,” Kapp said.

A VPD officer was dispatched at 6:37 p.m., and the concealed carrier managed to keep Thompson contained until police arrived and took the suspect into custody. Police recovered the two rings, valued at $12,000, and Thompson was arrested on suspicion of first-degree theft.

Knapp said that investigators determined that the concealed carrier drew his gun in self-defense. She added that police advise against pursuing suspects, especially for property crimes. “Call 911, provide as much detail as possible and let law enforcement respond. These types of encounters can be dangerous, and we don’t want citizens getting hurt unnecessarily,” she said.

An arraignment hearing was set for March 9th in Clark County Superior Court.

About the Author

Edgar Lee is a contributor for Concealed Nation. After spending 20 years in the fire service, he is currently in his second career as a business and technology manager, and he and his wife are successful small business owners.

Outside of work his interests include camping, hiking, fishing, metal detecting, home improvement projects and motorcycling. He also enjoys reading biographies and auto biographies, military history, and writing about modern-day personal safety and security. He has visited much of the continental US, but still considers his home state of North Carolina as his favorite.

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