Reporting Elizabeth Hur
By Elizabeth Hur
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Caught on tape: There was chaos as a suspected shoplifter uses his car to make his getaway.
Police say along the way, he injured a store manager and an innocent bystander waiting for a bus.
In fact, surveillance video from the Chestnut Deli shows a silver car jumping the curb at 47th and Chestnut Streets in West Philadelphia. The video goes onto show the car speeding away with onlookers in shock and running out of stores to check on a woman.
“My life just flashed. He was just inches away. All I saw was the grate of the car.”
The 62-year-old woman was knocked to the ground. Still in shock, she asked to remain anonymous.
“I didn’t know where to run, and all I did was–all I can say is God threw me back and I went to the ground.”
Lt. John Walker explained what happened next: “Fortunately, we had some detectives in the area doing undercover work. They saw the male, and they were able to stop him. He got out and fled on foot, but after a three block foot pursuit, he was apprehended.”
32-year-old Miltiadis Saritsoglou is now under arrest.
It all began shortly after 10 a.m. on Friday. Police say the suspect tried to get away with about $300 worth of batteries from a Rite Aid pharmacy.
“The manager in the store sees it. He just reacts and runs and runs after the male, who jumps in a car. The manager tries to stand in front of his car, leans on the hood of the car. As the manager leans on the hood, the male takes off at a high rate of speed, forcing the manager to tumble off the car,” Walker said.
Police say the 32-year-old then lost control of the car and hit the 62-year-old victim–and a pole–trying to get away.
Court records show that Saritsoglou has been in and out of jail since 1998. He’s been arrested on 20 separate occasions for theft-related offenses. This time around, police say they’ll make sure he pays for his crime.
“Pretty stupid act, and now he’s going to face some serious consequences for $300 in batteries,” Walker explained.
The 62-year-old victim added, “Just for batteries? You’re going to kill somebody with a car?”
As of Friday night, Saritsoglou remains in police custody waiting to be arraigned on various offences including Robbery and Aggravated Assault.