A boy trying to steal a 32-inch flat-screen television from Target was arrested as he ran from the store on Thursday night.
The 16-year-old ran out of Target through the south-side exit with the 32-inch Phillips LCD still in the box. He ran directly into the path of Merced Police Sergeant Rod Court, who was patrolling the store's parking lot. He dropped the box on the ground and attempted to flee, but was caught by Court.
During the chase, a man waiting for the boy in the parking lot picked up the television and placed it in his car. The man, Joseph Felter, 30, of Merced, soon realized that other police officers were also in the area and he removed the television from his car and sped away. An officer gave chase as Felter drove his silver Pontiac Trans-Am to San Mateo Court. He eventually got out of his car and ran, but was later arrested by the officer.
Felter was booked into Merced County Jail on charges of commercial burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, contributing to juvenile delinquency and violation of his parole. The boy was booked into Merced County Juvenile Hall on charges of commercial burglary and conspiracy to commit burglarly.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information may call Detective Keith Pelowski at (209) 385-4712 or the police department's Tipster line at (209) 385-4725. Callers may remain anonymous.