Charleston store owner chases and tackles alleged thief

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A store owner at the Charleston Town Center Mall chased down an alleged theft suspect after an expensive item was stolen from that store Monday afternoon.

David Miller, the owner of Sunglass Way inside of the Charleston Town Center, says he rarely deals with theft. On Monday afternoon, though, a man walked up to his store and asked to try on a $300 pair of glasses, and then took off.

Miller decided he wasn't going to let the alleged thief, 24-year-old, Kenneth James Mayo Jr., get away with the glasses, so he chased after him.

"I chased him through the mall,” Miller said. “I tracked the criminal, that’s what he is, is a criminal, through downtown Charleston. All the way to the boulevard, all the way around the police station and the courthouse.”

Miller said the pursuit ended in front of Bar 101 in downtown, which is about a half-mile from the mall.

“Right there on the corner of Virginia and Capitol Street,” he said. “I literally tackled him like a linebacker chasing a running back. I tackled him from behind, restrained him and police came in about two minutes and arrested him.”

Charleston Police arrested Mayo on shoplifting charges and realized he was already a wanted man. He had several warrants out for his arrest, including ones for battery and destruction of property.

When arrested, Mayo did not have the sunglasses in his possession, but Miller says he was caught on mall surveillance video leaving the mall with the glasses.

Even after this incident, Miller believes the mall remains safe. He believes it is still a good place to do business.

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