Police: Shoplifters back in jail

PENNSDALE – Just one month out of jail, two Hughesville area men are back behind bars on charges of trying to allegedly steal $185 worth of merchandise from stores at the Lycoming Mall, according to Muncy Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben.

After the two were confronted inside Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of them, 19-year-old Dominic James Thomas, began pushing a store employee several times, said McKibben, who responded to the mall on Thursday and apprehended the thieves with the help of Muncy Police Chief Richard Sutton.

After Thomas bolted from the sporting goods store, McKibben confronted him in a parking lot, where the alleged shoplifter put up a struggle, forcing the officer to use his Taser gun on him, court records state.

Once the man was restrained and handcuffed, McKibben, with the aid of Sutton, who was arriving on the scene, began searching for Thomas’ alleged accomplice, 18-year-old Wesley David LeBarron.

“In checking some bushes, I located the man hiding under a bush with mulch on top of him as cover,” McKibben said in an affidavit.

“LeBarron struggled with with me and Chief Sutton, and was ordered numerous times to stop resisting, but he kept at it” McKibben said.

LeBarron lied about his identity and age, McKibben said.

In addition to trying to steal a $71 set of headphones from Dick’s, Thomas and LeBarron allegedly stole merchandise from Rue 21, Burlington Coat Factory and Spencer’s, McKibben said. Many of the items were in a backpack that LeBarron dumped out onto Dick’s floor after the two were confronted in the store, McKibben said.

LeBarron’s true identity was only determined only after Hughesville Patrolman Rodney Smith responded to the Muncy Township police station and “immediately identified the man, whom he has arrested numerous times in the past,” McKibben said.

Court records state Thomas, of 906 Route 118, and LeBarron, of 152 Boak Ave., are on probation for burglary and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and the two just got out of prison late last month. Upon their apprehension at the mall, the two automatically were placed in the Lycoming County Prison on probation violations.

Thomas and LeBarron were each arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on charges of shoplifting, resisting arrest and conspiracy. Thomas faced an additional charge of terroristic threats while LeBarron was also charged with false identity to law enforcement and possession of an instrument of crime (his backpack). The two were committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail each.