Hunger drives man to steal

Posted Dec. 11, 2008, at 12:54 a.m.

NEWPORT, Maine — A Pittsfield man told police he tried to steal a grocery cart full of food at Shop ’n Save in Newport on Wednesday morning because he was hungry.

Andrew Webber, 21, was charged with theft and resisting arrest after he led police, bystanders and store personnel on a foot chase and then struggled with officers when caught.

“He said he was hungry and it was clear he really was,” Chief Leonard Macdaid said. “After we arrested him, we sent an officer up to a local restaurant and got him some food.”

The incident began when Webber attempted to walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of groceries but was spotted by the store manager, Macdaid said. The groceries, which Webber had selected and put in the cart himself, were worth $210, according to Macdaid.

Once spotted by the store manager, Webber abandoned the cart and ran, followed closely by the manager.

The men ran across Route 7 to Rite Aid, where the drugstore manager joined the pursuit, and then all three ran back across the highway.

An off-duty Pittsfield officer, Jason Emery, saw the foot chase and joined in, along with Macdaid.

Webber finally was caught behind the Shop ’n Save store and a short struggle ensued, Macdaid said.

“I’m afraid we’re going to see more and more of this,” Macdaid said, referring to people who are struggling to feed and house themselves this winter.

bdnpittsfield@verizon.net

487-3187

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