Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Berkeley Whole Foods store closed after security pepper sprays shoplifter privateofficer.com

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Berkeley CA Feb 1 2017
At around at 5:48 pm, officers responded to 1025 Gilman Street on a report of someone brandishing a knife.
According to security/loss prevention, they attempted to stop/contact a man who had just stolen items from inside.”
When they spoke with him, he brandished a knife at them.
“That’s when security/loss prevention sprayed the man with pepper spray causing the man to run away,” dropping the items he had taken, said Officer Byron White, a BPD spokesman.
The brandishing of the knife and subsequent pepper spray took place outside, White said.
Customers were asked to check out and leave the Berkeley Whole Foods on Gilman Street, and would-be customers were not being allowed inside due to the pepper spray incident.
Beth Krauss, a regional Whole Foods spokeswoman, confirmed that the store is closed for now.
“Out of an abundance of caution we have temporarily closed our Gilman store after pepper spray was released into the environment,” she said by email, noting that staffers hoped to reopen Monday night.

Several minutes later, Krauss said the store has decided to stay closed through the evening: “Customer and Team Member safety is our top priority, and we want to be thorough in taking the necessary steps to ensure the area is properly cleared. We will be open again tomorrow morning.”

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