Off-duty deputy thwarts suspected theft at Nike Factory Store Downtown, police say

A shoplifting attempt at the Nike Factory Store Downtown Thursday was thwarted by an off-duty sheriff’s deputy who sent the suspects scrambling out of the store, police said.

The attempted theft occurred around 4 p.m. in the 70 block of Aquarium Way. Early reports described the incident as a person with a gun inside the store, according to the Long Beach Police Department, but when officers arrived, they concluded the suspects did not have a weapon.

The gun in question belonged to an off-duty sheriff who witnessed the suspects attempting to steal from the store, authorities said.

According to a security guard who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to talk to the media, the sheriff saw the suspects stealing Nike items and flashed his badge at them. The deputy also pulled out a gun, according to police and the guard.

That’s when the suspects dropped the bags with an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 worth of Nike products and fled the scene prior to police arriving, the guard said.

No arrests were made, the LBPD said. The store closed for roughly an hour and a half following the incident.

Editor’s note: This article was updated with more information from police and a witness, and to clarify the type of crime.

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Fernando Haro is the Long Beach Post's breaking news and public safety reporter.