Mall security guards tackle transient shoplifter

PALM DESERT, Calif. - A 21-year-old man was arrested Monday afternoon for stealing multiple items from Westfield Palm Desert and evading police officers.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m.

Police said Matthew Charles Stewart, a transient from Joshua Tree, was seen walking through the mall stealing items from numerous stores. Stewart stole items from Macy's, left the mall, and returned to Zumiez to steal more, according to mall security.

When security guards tried to stop the suspect, he ran away and hopped the wall on the north side of the parking lot.

Palm Desert police officers showed up and spotted Stewart in the parking lot. According to a release, the suspect was running toward JC Penney when mall security guards tackled him in front of the entrance.

Stewart was treated at the hospital after being taken down to the ground. He was then arrested on charges of commercial burglary and evading arrest, according to police.

He was booked into the Riverside County Jail in Indio.

The investigation is ongoing, anyone with information is asked to call the Palm Desert Police Department at 760-836-1600.

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