Jewelry store security guard catches alleged pharmacy shoplifter

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A Shadyside jewelry store security guard sprung into action this afternoon when a shoplifter fled from a nearby pharmacy, Pittsburgh police said.

The guard, Mike Blake, saw a man run out of Rite Aid Pharmacy on Walnut Street around 1:25 p.m., jewelry store owner John Henne said.

About a minute later, a second man carrying a basket ran past the store, and Mr. Blake "grabbed him all by himself and held him," he said. Mr. Henne said he and several others helped Mr. Blake hold Shawn J. Gent until police arrived.

Gent was arrested and transported to the Allegheny County Jail, city public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said in an email. The first man got away, though items taken from the store, valued at $748.25, are believed to have been recovered, she said.

Mr. Blake is a retired Pittsburgh police officer and has been a security guard for the jeweler for at least three years, Mr. Henne said.

A supervisor at Rite Aid said she was not permitted to discuss the situation.

Lexi Belculfine: or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.


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