Shoplifting Suspect Stabs Loss Prevention Associates at Grocery Retailer

A large bowie knife laying on the wooden table used for hunting or camping.

A California man attempting to shoplift from a Vons grocery store in San Diego’s Midway District pulled out a knife and stabbed two loss prevention associates as they tried to stop the crime in progress. Just before 10:30 p.m., the suspect, now identified as Matthew Hoag, 22, tried to leave a Vons store located at 3651 Midway Dr. with stolen items. As Hoag exited, an LP associate confronted him and a fight ensued, the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said. A second LP associate joined the struggle. Hoag pulled out a knife and cut one associate’s finger and stabbed the other in the leg. Police said citizens in the store then detained the suspect until officers could arrive.

One of those citizens was Mark Vargas, a retired corrections officer who used to work for the sheriff’s department. Vargas told reporters he was walking into the grocery store when he saw and heard the commotion. He saw the LP associates wrestling with Hoag and could see that one of the victims had been stabbed. “I could see be a big old wound on his leg,” he recalled. “It was pretty wild; people trying to stop the bleeding on the security guard. And the guy was over here fighting, trying to get away.” Vargas, along with other passersby, helped hold down Hoag. He said that in his former line of work, he was faced with those types of encounters. “I thought, Well, gonna have to get in there and get dirty like I used to,” he added.  The SDPD said the stabbing victims were treated for their wounds and will be okay. No other injuries were reported.  [Source: NBC7 SanDiego]

Stay Updated

Get critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.