Suspect in Kingsport shoplifting spree arrested; $4,500 in items recovered

Rain Smith • Sep 8, 2010 at 2:39 AM

A man suspected of shoplifting at least four times from Kingsport Wal-Marts — and escaping via fire exits with $4,500 in merchandise — has been arrested and charged with felony theft.

He was allegedly caught in the act on Thursday night, while police were investigating another incident at the store. Employees pointed out the suspect to an officer, who then waited outside the fire door.

When the suspect exited and spotted police, he allegedly attempted to reenter through the emergency exit. Police say he was apprehended about 20 feet inside the store, with a subsequent search warrant at his home locating the previously stolen goods.

Donald L. Greene, 41, of 5048 Memorial Boulevard, apartment No. 5, has been charged with theft over $1,000, two counts of theft over $500, theft under $500 and evading arrest.

According to police reports, the thefts occurred over the past month at the Fort Henry Drive Wal-Mart. Police say the suspect was captured on surveillance video each time, exiting through a fire escape door.

Two laptop computers were allegedly stolen Aug. 8.

On Aug. 16 two Xbox video game systems were taken, along with a PlayStation portable. About an hour later the suspect returned, this time making away with a TV.

But Greene's luck expired last Thursday night, according to police, when he allegedly switched from high-priced thefts to pilfering vitamins, ground beef and cotton swabs. An officer was at the store on a separate case when a manager exclaimed, "there he is," pointing at a man in the frozen food aisle.

The officer reports recognizing the man as the suspect in the previous felony thefts. Police and loss prevention then waited outside a fire exit on the garden side of the store, with Greene soon exiting.

Greene allegedly turned and ran back into the store, attempting to shut the fire exit and prevent officers from following. He was apprehended about 20 feet away.

A police report says he had concealed $311.04 worth of razors, cotton swabs, shampoo, vitamin C tablets, chap stick, deodorant and beef. Police placed Greene under arrest and transported him to the city jail.

Det. Light says a search warrant was obtained for Greene's home, with officers uncovering the items previously reported stolen from Wal-Mart. He said the net value of the goods totaled about $4,500.

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