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Fort Covington man charged with stealing two TVs from Walmart, leading police on foot pursuit

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MASSENA - A 22-year-old Fort Covington man has been jailed after he allegedly tried to steal more than $1,000 worth of merchandise from Walmart and then attempted to break into a Sunmount residence in an effort to hide from police Wednesday afternoon.

Village police charged Steven P. Thompson of 1705 Salmon St. with a felony count of fourth-degree grand larceny and second-degree criminal trespass. He was taken into custody at 1:54 p.m. after an approximately 10-minute pursuit in the Stephenville Road area before he was found trying to hide in the cat tails in a swampy area between state Route 37 and Stephenville Road.

Thompson was arraigned by Massena Town Justice Gerald P. Sharlow and sent to the St. Lawrence County Correctional Facility with bail set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond.

Police said Walmart’s asset protection staff stopped Thompson when he walked past the store’s last point of sale without paying for $1,021.62 worth of merchandise in his cart. Those items reportedly included area rugs, strawberry Twizzlers, an eight pack of Mountain Dew, a magic glove and two 32-inch Vizio televisions.

Thompson reportedly took off running through the Walmart and Home Depot parking lots and then into the back lawns of homes in the Stephenville Road area before attempting to enter the IRA home through a locked back door. He then entered the garage at the residence, where he was confronted by a maintenance man, and fled again. Police said at one time he entered the wooded area near the Department of Public Work’s building. He was taken into custody a short time later by village police with assistance from Massena-based state police.

The Fort Covington man told police several items, including the two televisions, in his cart before he looked in his pockets and realized he had no money. “I then left my cart in the underwear section and went to the front door by the customer service section. While by the front door, I was checking to see if the electronic beepers would actually beep if I tried to steal the tvs. I decided if I was stealing the tvs I might as well steal everything in the court,” he said.

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