A fearless Florida grocery store manager took down a shoplifter while giving an interview to local TV about a rash of thefts that has plagued his store.
Lenin Ubiera-Cruz was speaking to a reporter with WFTV Orlando last week when he suddenly cut the interview short and sprinted over to a man entering his Family Foods Supermarket store with a shopping cart.
“Just give me one second. This is the guy that stole the other day,” Ubiera-Cruz told the reporter before taking off running.
After greeting the man at the entrance — “Hey papito, how you doing?” he said cheerily — Ubiera-Cruz tackled the suspected thief and put him in a choke hold on the ground.
WFTV kept its cameras rolling during the bizarre confrontation.
“Tell my brother to call the police!” he screams.
UBIERA-CRUZ SAID RATCLIFF STOLE MEAT, EGGS, BEANS AND BEER FROM HIS STORE. HE AND SEVERAL OTHERS HELD HIM AT THE STORE UNTIL POLICE ARRIVED.
“That’s what I do to the other one,” he tells the camera. “I got you. … This is the one.”
He and several other workers held the man there until police arrived.
Ubiera-Cruz told the officer the man, identified by WFTV as Lawrence Ratcliff, stole meat, eggs, beer and beans from his store during two trips on June 19.
Security footage on the station’s website showed a man resembling Ratcliff skulking around the store stuffing store items in his pants, including a whole carton of eggs.
After watching security footage, the officer arrested Ratcliff.
He was charged with petty theft, fined $273 sentenced to five days in jail, the station reported.