Wal-Mart shampoo robbery nets arrest of E.C. residents

August 08, 2001|By KELLY GRANT, Staff Writer

A man was arrested Tuesday night on suspicion of robbery after stealing personal items from Wal-Mart and scuffling, while armed, with a store security guard.

Juan Palma Escalante, 45, and Pamela Kay Flores, 48, both of El Centro, were attempting to shoplift shampoo and other personal items from the store, said El Centro Police Department Lt. Paul Longoria.

When confronted by a security guard, Flores was cooperative but Escalante "made it clear he didn't want to be arrested," Longoria said.

A scuffle ensued, resulting in the guard tackling Escalante, Longoria said. The guard then held the suspects until police officers arrived.


During the scuffle, Escalante allegedly reached toward his back pocket, leading the security guard to think Escalante may have a weapon there, Longoria said.

When officers arrived, they found a pocket knife in Escalante's pocket.

"Robbery is defined by force or fear and the patrol personnel at the scene thought we had enough for robbery," Longoria said.

Longoria added the couple allegedly made plans to shoplift before entering the store.

The stolen property was recovered, Longoria said.

Escalante was booked into the county jail on suspicion of robbery with bail set at $50,000.

Flores was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy and also was booked into the county jail with bail set at $50,000.

Both were still in custody as of presstime this morning.

Staff Writer Kelly Grant can be reached at 337-3441.

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