LEBANON, KY (WAVE) - A Kentucky state senator took matters into his own hands after he says a shoplifter tried to rip off his business. Sen. Jimmy Higdon wrestled the suspect to the ground and people in Lebanon are calling him a hero. It all happened at his store Higdon's Foodtown.
On August 8, 2010, Higdon noticed a man pacing back and forth in the store. He watched him on the security video and saw him take something.
"When I was about right here he was pretty much ready to go out the door so I said: 'Sir I need to speak to you a minute,'" said Hidgon.
The surveillance video shows a suspect in a white shirt try to push by Hidgon, that's when the store owner fought back.
"if you were a football coach and grading me, my offensive moves where he hit me where I went back at him, I would score a perfect ten," said Higdon. "Now the defensive move should have been to wrap him up, you know tackle him. Well I did very poorly on that because I tried to tackle him with one arm because I had my cell phone in my other hand."
Higdon said he was trying to be discrete by calling police on his cell phone and not embarrassing the suspect, but had to take action when he tried to leave.
The whole town talking about it.
"They want to know when the WWF is going to call me," said Higdon laughing.
One shopper complimenting his football skills.
"Around town people are calling him a hero," said shopper Lewis Clements.
Even the police had something to say.
"He was a football player and looked exactly like he was taking a tackle," said Asst. Chief Wally Brady of the Lebanon Police Department.
The suspect in question only took one thing - a package of original flavor Beef Jerky that was on sale for $4.99.
Despite his greatest efforts, the shoplifter got away, at least at first. Higdon had a hunch he was staying at a nearby hotel, so he went there and offered a $50 reward to anyone with information.
"(The) police station received a phone call that he was in room 116 and they went there they found him hiding under a bed," said Higdon.
Brady said they arrested Rolando Gallgos, who was an illegal immigrant. He has since been deported back to Mexico. He was only caught because he didn't pay for a package of beef jerky.
"We have a policy that you have a zero tolerance for shoplifters and zero tolerance means zero tolerance," said Higdon.