Shoplifting suspect in custody following brash getaway attempt - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Shoplifting suspect in custody following brash getaway attempt

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Robert H Baker Robert H Baker
HAYDEN, Idaho -

The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office says a shoplifting suspect is in custody Monday for multiple offenses following a brazen attempt to get away from deputies.

At around 4 p.m. Saturday, deputies were called to the Hayden Walmart for a shoplifter. While on the way, dispatch reported that the suspect had left the store and driven away in a green Dodge Caravan. He rammed the driver's side door of a pickup truck that was trying to keep the Caravan from getting away. No one in the truck was injured.

The driver and passenger of the pickup told deputies that they saw a man running from the store followed by security before he jumped into the Caravan. The pickup followed the van toward the rear of the Walmart and told the woman driver that they needed to turn around and pay for the stolen merchandise. The woman turned the van around and headed back to the parking lot, but  once they got there, the man moved into the driver's seat and the woman moved into the backseat. 

The witnesses in the pickup say they tried to block their escape, but were rammed by the van. The van sped out of the parking lot and into oncoming traffic, forcing some vehicles off the road.

The Walmart loss prevention officer told deputies that the man had stolen a Bluetooth radio speaker worth $150.

Deputies were still on the scene interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence when Coeur d'Alene Police found the suspect's van parked in the rear lot of the Shiloh Inn on Appleway. They also found the woman who had been in the van at the Motel 6.

Deputies say the woman was unaware that her friend, later identified as 36-year-old Robert H, Baker of Coeur d'Alene, had stolen anything until the people in the pickup told her to turn around.She said she repeatedly told Baker to stop, but he refused.

Deputies took Baker into custody and is currently being held without bond on felony charges of burglary, two counts of aggressive assault for ramming the pickup and second degree kidnapping for not allowing the woman in the van to get out. He was also cited for misdemeanor charges of driving without a license, petit theft, removing a theft detection device, malicious injury to property and reckless driving.

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