State police said they found a 7-inch dagger in a Bethlehem man’s vehicle after he was chased down for allegedly shoplifting from a Lehigh County Walmart.
Maximo Vasquez, of the 1500 block of East Ninth Street, faces a weapons, retail theft and resisting arrest charge, all misdemeanors, following his arrest Sunday in Lower Macungie Township. District Judge Wayne Maura arraigned the 28-year-old and set bail at $50,000 before increasing the amount to $100,000.
Pennsylvania State Police with the Fogelsville barracks were initially dispatched to the Walmart at 1091 Mill Creek Road for a reported shoplifting. Store security said Vasquez put a pair of motorized scooters in a shopping cart and tried to exchange them for different scooters, according to court records. The merchandise was worth $398.
When security approached him as he tried to finalize the exchange, Vasquez allegedly said that unless security “had a badge” he wasn’t going to be stopped, according to records. He then ran out of the store and jumped into his Jeep Liberty.
State police stopped the vehicle in a nearby AutoZone parking lot. Troopers ordered Vasquez to put his hands against the door, but he took off running toward Hamilton Boulevard and Mill Creek Road.
He was taken into custody without incident. A search turned up two pocket knives, and Vasquez told police about the dagger stuffed between the seat and center console in his Jeep.
He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Sept. 26.