Two in custody after alleged theft, threat at Coal Township Walmart
COAL TOWNSHIP - Two Hazleton men were arrested by Coal Township police Tuesday following an alleged theft and gun threat at Wal-Mart Supercenter on Route 61.
The incident occurred at 8:15 p.m. and ended with a vehicle stop minutes later on Route 61 North near Burger King where eight police vehicles converged on the scene.
A pair of BB guns were found inside the vehicle but no other firearms were discovered.
Police say loss prevention employees followed Raymond Heller, 29, and his girlfriend, 21-year-old Lauren Laetach, of Hazleton, from the store and into the parking lot. They had suspected a theft occurred and asked that they return to the store.
The two arrived at Wal-Mart with Donald Clymer, 32, who is accused of attempting to steal a computer and merchandise for children and babies.
Heller allegedly responded to the employees' request with a gun threat, at which point the employees backed off and called 911.
The trio drove off in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee with three other passengers, a 8-year-old boy, a 7-year-old girl and an infant boy, police say. It was stopped and the men were taken into custody without incident.
Heller faces retail theft and simple assault. Clymer faces retail theft. They both were to be arraigned late Tuesday by an on-call district judge.
Laetach is not facing any charges, police say.
The investigating officer is Patrolman Joshua Wynn. He was assisted by township Detective Jeffrey Brennan and patrolmen Matthew Hashuga, Christopher Lapotsky and Chad Yoder. Also assisting were Shamokin Cpl. Darwin Tobias III, Mount Carmel Township Patrolman Brian Carnuccio and Ralpho Township Patrolman Stephen Spade.