Crime

His singing earned him an audience. They watched him steal $900 in clothes, police say

What kind of bird sings loudly while stealing from a department store?

A jailbird.

A Spanaway man faces criminal charges after his loud singing attracted employees’ attention as he tried to steal nearly $900 worth of clothing from a Puyallup department store Monday, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 21-year-old man, who is accused of punching a store employee in the nose during a failed attempt to fly the coop, was arraigned Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of second-degree robbery. His bail was set at $5,000.

According to charging documents:

Staffers at the South Hill Mall store saw the loud-singing man and decided to keep an eye on him. Cameras and loss-prevention staff watched the man put some of the clothes on, remove anti-theft devices and then go to the changing rooms to try on items.

Loss-prevention staff noticed that some of the items were missing, then they watched the man stuff a package of socks down the front of his pants.

The man went past the cash registers and left the store, $890 of merchandise in tow, but a store security guard asked him to return.

The man tried to flee. The guard held on. The man punched him in the nose.

A Puyallup police officer arrived and handcuffed the man, but it took a second officer arriving before they could get the man into a patrol car.

The man was taken to a cell at the Puyallup jail, where he stripped himself naked.

He was then transported to Pierce County Jail.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker

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