Suspected shoplifter runs over former cop’s foot

A motor vehicle accident in November at an Oakdale business left a shoplifting suspect’s vehicle with a broken windshield and a former police officer with a sore foot.

A woman suspected of stealing an 18-volt battery and charger kit valued at $99.99 from Mills Fleet Farm on Hadley Avenue managed to evade a loss prevention employee the afternoon of Wednesday, Nov. 13. The suspect then got into a silver Chrysler 300, which did not have license plates, and drove off, though not before running over the foot of a former police officer who was nearby.

The retired police officer, identified in a police report as Larry Crawford, 59, of Stillwater, reportedly observed the confrontation between the loss prevention officer and the suspected thief, and was next to the suspect’s vehicle as it backed out of a parking space.

The vehicle backed over Crawford’s right foot, and he managed to get in front of the vehicle as it pulled forward, striking the windshield with his fanny pack. The impact from the blow shattered the windshield, but the motorist did not stop and fled the parking lot.

Community affairs officer Michelle Stark says the incident is still under investigation, so it is unclear if Crawford had become involved in the confrontation, whether or not the suspect meant to back over his foot, and why Crawford struck the windshield. The incident was caught on surveillance tape, and investigators are still searching for the suspect.

Luckily, Crawford said he did not sustain any serious injuries. Stark says once the investigation is completed and suspect identified and found, the city attorney, Jim Thomsen, will determine charges.

—Johanna Holub

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