A hatchet-wielding robber was arrested tonight, Sunday, Dec. 31, after Sheriff's deputies were called to the Pala Mesa Market on Old 395 in Fallbrook on New Year's Eve. The incident was called in at 6:17 pm when a male threatened the market's floor manager after being confronted for stealing several items. The man was accompanied by a woman in a wheelchair, according to Ana Garcia, Pala Mesa Market's Front End Manager.
Garcia said the man appeared to be homeless, although she wasn't sure if they came from the hotel next door, or the park-n-ride across the street. She said, "There's never a reason to steal. If they would have just asked, we would have given them something."
After deputies detained the male, they were searching for the woman in the wheelchair, who may have gone to the hotel, according to market staff, who said this isn't the first time this man has come in to steal from them. Garcia said, "When people shoplift from small stores like ours, it really hurts the store."
Sgt. Smith from the Fallbrook substation was able to verify that he believed the man was arrested for robbery but also added that any additional charges would come from the District Attorney's office. The Sheriff's department was unable to name the man who was arrested or give any other information.
This is an early version story. More will be reported as information is available.