North Charleston Police Department says one person was arrested following a shoplifting that turned into a kidnapping on Sunday. Police identified the suspect as 55-year-old Gary Nelson.
Officials say at approximately 3:11 PM, an officer responded to 7250 Rivers Avenue in reference to shoplifters. Upon arriving, the officer spoke with someone at loss prevention who said a known shoplifter, who the loss prevention employee said “had two outstanding warrants and was aggressive,” was inside and wasn’t alone.
According to the incident report, while waiting for back up to arrive, the loss prevention employee pointed out an older man , later identified as Gary Nelson, who was leaving the store and has a shopping cart full of items. The employee told the officer that Nelson was “with the original shoplifter.” The officer then approached and asked the suspect had a receipt. Nelson then “forcefully pushed the shopping cart at the officer” and ran away.
The officer chased Nelson between a church and the Chuck E. Cheese in the area. When the officer caught up with Nelson, the officer said they saw several women screaming behind a black in color Tahoe with the back hatch opened. Nelson had gotten inside. While trying to stop the car, the office noticed a child sitting in the front passenger seat of the car.
Nelson led a vehicle pursuit down Rivers Avenue while the officer spoke with the mother of the child in the car. She told the officer she had a two-year-old and a six- year-old inside the car. Officers later arrested Nelson and the children were returned the the mother unharmed.
Nelson was taken to the MUSC emergency room in reference to a dog bite. Officers say Nelson confessed to the officer that he had been in the store shoplifting with two others. Nelson was reportedly the “look out guy” and told officers he was ” under the influence of methamphetamine and had been smoking it all day.” He also told officers he didn’t know there were children inside the car until he heard them crying. He claims he never put his hands on the kids.
Nelson was booked into Al Cannon Detention Center on multiple charges, including kidnapping, assaulting a police officer, and shoplifting… ABC4 News