Repeat Target thief accused of pepper-spraying store security privateofficer.com #PrivateOfficerNews
Greenacres FL March 12 2017
A man who spent nine months in jail last year for stealing from a Target was arrested again last week after reportedly pepper-spraying store security officers.
Eric Rawls, 32, was stopped outside the Greenacres Target on Lake Worth Road on the afternoon of March 3. Loss prevention officers suspected the North Lauderdale man was stealing and asked him to return to the store on Lake Worth Road, east of Jog Road, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office records show.
Surveillance footage reportedly shows Rawls — who first identified himself by a fake name — grab items from the electronics department and place them in a Target bag. Sheriff’s officials estimated the two cameras and thermostat cost about $650.
Rawls reportedly strolled out of the store with the stolen merchandise. When three loss prevention officers stopped him outside the door, he fell to the ground.
The officers helped him up, but as they did, Rawls reached into his pocket and pulled out a can of pepper spray, records show.
He sprayed one officer directly in the eyes. The two other officers were affected by the spray as well. They tried to handcuff Rawls, but the man tried to bite the officers.
When deputies arrived, Rawls complained of chest pains and a head injury. He was taken to a hospital where officials learned he’d given them a false name.
Rawls is being held in the Palm Beach County Jail on a $60,000 bond.
Court records show Rawls spent nine months in jail after pleading guilty to theft charges from a 2015 incident at a Target west of Boca Raton. He stole Xboxes, drones and clothing, according to his arrest report.
Palm Beach Post