Investigations into three reported robberies in the past week are underway, according to Gainesville Police Department spokeswoman Belva McClinton.
On Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 7, a man left the Tom Thumb grocery store on Grand Avenue without paying for a box of diapers, McClinton said. An employee of the store reportedly chased after the man and attempted to grab the box of diapers from him, at which point police say he brandished a knife. Then the employee stopped trying to recover the stolen merchandise and returned to the store, she said.
The employee was not injured and the box of diapers taken was worth more than $30, according to police.
On Saturday, Sept. 5, a woman reportedly stole merchandise from Walmart, 1800 Lawrence St., and was contacted by a loss prevention associate as she was approaching the exit.
McClinton said the associate grabbed the basket to prevent the woman from leaving with the merchandise. The woman reportedly shoved the basket into the exit doors, causing an injury to the associate’s hand, police said.
The associate did not require medical attention, according to McClinton. However, the suspect grabbed “several bags” of items totaling more than $50 and fled the scene, she said.
McClinton did not say what type of merchandise was taken.
Police are attempting to identify the individuals from the robberies reported over the three-day weekend, McClinton said Wednesday, Sept. 9.
One person is in custody at the Cooke County Jail after reportedly attempting to steal from Walmart on Thursday, Sept. 3.
McClinton said a man, who police identified as Jerry Joe Arbogast III, walked out of the store with a basket full of merchandise worth more than $600. When he was confronted by employees, Arbogast reportedly discarded the merchandise and ran east from the store.
Police said during the confrontation, one employee injured their hand. The injury did not require medical attention.
Arbogast jumped a retaining wall along the east side of the parking lot, authorities say. When officers found the man hiding, he reportedly fled again. He was eventually taken into custody in the 1800 block of North Grand Avenue, McClinton said.
The 20-year-old resident of The Colony faces charges of robbery, evading arrest and failure to identify, jail records show.
“When someone is injured during the commission of a theft, the appropriate charge is robbery,” McClinton said.
Arbogast remained in custody as of press time Wednesday. His bonds total $25,500, according to jail records.