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Forum staff reports, Published December 03 2010

Shoplifting suspect accused of assault

A 17-year-old boy is accused of trying to shoplift more than $450 worth of clothing at J.C. Penney and punching the loss-prevention officer who confronted him three times in the face.

Police were called at 8:46 p.m. Wednesday about a shoplifter who assaulted an employee at the store in Fargo’s West Acres mall.

The store’s loss-prevention officer observed the suspect retrieve a plastic bag from customer service and take numerous items into a dressing room in the men’s department. The suspect allegedly placed the items into the bag and left the store without paying for them, Fargo Police Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

When the loss-prevention officer confronted the suspect outside the store and began to question him, the suspect got “fidgety” and punched the officer three times in the face, Lykken said. The officer was able to get the boy in handcuffs and place him under citizen’s arrest.

The boy faces charges of shoplifting, simple assault and giving a false name to police. He was taken to juvenile detention.

J.C. Penney recovered 15 clothing items valued at $453, Lykken said.