Armed good Samaritan stops suspects at Loomis grocery store

Walter Makaula

LOOMIS, Calif. (KCRA) —

Two shoplifters at a Loomis grocery store were stopped from stabbing a security guard by an armed good Samaritan before being arrested, the Placer County Sheriff's Office said Wednesday.

Brandon Smith, 25, of Santa Cruz, and Elizabeth Almand, 23, of Watsonville, were taken into custody Sunday night at the Raley's grocery store on Horseshoe Bar Road, the Sheriff's Office said.

The incident began around 8:25 p.m. Smith and Almand were spotted shoplifting at the store by a security guard, the Sheriff's Office said.

"When they left, (the guard) confronted them in the parking lot. There was an altercation where the suspect pulled a knife out," Lt. Andrew Scott said.

Smith then tried to stab the security guard, Scott said.

"The altercation escalated at that point and the victim was able to disarm the (Smith) and they began wrestling on the ground," Scott said.

The knife fell to the ground, feet away from them, near where Almand was standing nearby.

"The male suspect told the female suspect to stab the victim," Scott said. "She walked over and picked up the knife and was moving toward the victim."

Then, right at that moment, a good Samaritan pulled out his gun and said, "Drop it!"

"He had a concealed weapons permit," Scott said. "He had a firearm on his person. He drew the firearm and told the female suspect to drop the knife."

Almand then immediately complied, the Sheriff's Office said. Deputies then arrived at the scene and arrested both suspects.

Smith was booked on charges of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and conspiracy; Almand was booked on charges of robbery and conspiracy, the Sheriff's Office said.

Deputies found about $50 worth of stolen items from the grocery store on the suspects, the Sheriff's Office said. A Raley's employee said they walked out with three bottles of alcoholic drinks and a DVD.

In a statement, Raley's said that their top priority was the safety of their customers and employees. The security guard is not an employee. Their services are contracted through Camden Security.

"We are grateful their trained officer was present in this situation and for the good Samaritan who offered additional support," wrote Chelsea Minor, Raley's corporate director of consumer and public affairs, in a statement.

KCRA reached out to Camden Security. They had no comment on the matter other than their officer is doing fine