Accused booze thief dies after being caught shoplifting

BELFAIR, Wash. -- Mason County sheriff's deputies say a man dropped dead moments after he was caught stealing booze from a Belfair Safeway.

Deputies were called to the Safeway on Sunday at 5 p.m. after store employees saw a man trying to steal a shopping cart full of alcohol and various other items.

While waiting for police, a Safeway loss-prevention officer confronted the shoplifter outside of the store and told him to stop, according to sheriff's office. Instead of giving up, the shoplifter ditched the cart and took off running.

When a deputy got to the store, the Safeway employee pointed out which direction the suspect was headed. The deputy searched the area and found the accused shoplifter on the ground. The man was non-responsive and wasn't breathing, according to the sheriff's office.

With help from the loss-prevention officer, the deputy performed CPR on the man while waiting for a medic aid unit to arrive.

The accused shoplifter was transported to Harrison Hospital in Bremerton, but he did not survive.

The man, who has not been identified, had multiple felony warrants for his arrest and had previous felony convictions, according to the sheriff's office.