Customers help employees thwart chain-saw theft at North Topeka store

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 11:05 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Customers helped employees intercept a would-be thief Wednesday evening at the Tarwater Farm & Home store at 4107 N.W. Topeka Blvd.

Ashton Tarwater, a sales associate at the store, said the incident occurred around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, about a half-hour before the 6 p.m. closing time.

Tarwater said a car with four adults and two children pulled up to the store at that time.

The individuals got out of the car and entered the store before one of them attempted to leave with a chain saw without paying for it.

Tarwater said one of the individuals who was attempting to steal the chain saw told store personnel that he had a weapon, though none was ever shown.

She said a store employee confronted the individuals outside the store.

Tarwater said the individuals who had taken the chain saw “ended up dropping the merchandise” at the scene before taking off in their car.

Two customers assisted the employee, Tarwater said. One of the customers blocked traffic in the 4100 block of N.W. Topeka Boulevard and the other blocked the car in an attempt to prevent the individuals who had taken the chain saw from leaving the area.

Before the individuals who had taken the chain saw left the scene, one of the customers took photos of the vehicle and its license plate. The photos were posted to Facebook.

No injuries were reported in the incident, which is being investigated by the Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information may call Shawnee County Crime Stoppers at 785-234-0007.

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