Mass. man accused of shoplifting, hiding in Salem restaurant bathroom
His choice of a getaway car led police to where he was hiding and got his girlfriend charged with a crime as well, police said.
Salem police responded to the K-Mart store on Sunday morning at 9:50 a.m. Loss prevention workers gave police a description of the car and its registration.
The vehicle - which led officers to the neighboring store plaza - belonged to a waitress who worked at the Bickford's restaurant, according to Deputy police Chief Shawn Patten.
Nanette Langone, 42, of Derry told police someone she did not know took the car so it could be repaired.
Police could see a duffle bag inside the vehicle, believed to be full of stolen merchandise such as perfume, cologne and DVDs.
While police were interviewing Langone, the alleged thief, Jesse Babcock, 33, was sitting in the diner, Patten said.
'He took off (from Kmart), but then he sat down inside Bickford's to wait for her,' Patten said.
Babcock briefly hid in the bathroom to avoid being found by police, Patten said.
When Langone went inside the diner to get her car keys, officers stopped Babcock, 33, while he was walking away from the restaurant with his hood up, police said.
Babcock told officers that he was hiding the bathroom at Bickford's and that Langone was his girlfriend, police said. Babcock was taken into custody without incident.
He was charged with felony theft.
Langone was charged with hindering apprehension and was released on a court summons.
Police say the merchandise stolen from Kmart was valued at $116, but officers are still trying to determine where all the stolen items came from that were being stored in the duffel bag, Patten said.
Babcock was being held at the county jail pending his arraignment in 10th Circuit Court in Salem.