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Shoplifter Arrested For More Than Stealing At Sonora Store

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Sonora, CA – A shoplifter upped the ante when he allegedly became physical with a store employee and wound up facing a felony charge.

Yesterday afternoon, a Sonora Police Officer was patrolling the parking lot of Walmart on Sanguinetti Road and witnessed a man assaulting an employee. The suspect, 27-year-old Kyle C. Abate of Sonora, then took off running. Abate was stopped outside of the PetSmart.

Further investigation determined that Abate was seen inside of Walmart hiding food in his clothing. When a loss prevention employee near the exit began questioning him, according to Sonora Police Chief Turu VanderWiel, Abate started shoving him backward and out of the front doors of the store.

Although the stolen item was under ten bucks, Chief VanderWiel explains why the charges were enhanced, stating, “When you commit a theft by uses of force or violence or threats of force or violence, It raises the stakes and becomes a felony rather than a misdemeanor.”

Abate was found to have an opened bottle of alcohol, which also added the misdemeanor charge of having an opened container in public.


  • Kyle C. Abate