MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A man was taken into custody after Memphis Police say he ate two bags of chips that someone else had stolen from a convenience store.
According to reports, on February 9, a man got into an argument with a Circle K store clerk in Parkway Village because she wouldn’t sell him beer.
The man then took an entire display of chips, with hundreds of bags, and put them into his car.
While walking with the display, several bags of chips fell on the ground, MPD says. The clerk had followed the man out of the store.
After the suspect drove off, another man, Joseph Braswell, picked up two bags that had fallen. The chips were valued at $4.98, police say.
Minutes later, officers found Braswell with crumbs on his face. Police reviewed video footage and concluded that Braswell was aware of the theft.
Braswell, 36, was charged with theft of merchandise less than $1,000. He was released on his own recognizance Tuesday morning.
Video: Potato chip heist
His mother says she doesn’t believe it was necessary to arrest him.
The store manager said it is not about the bag or bags of chips that were stolen. It is more about a pattern of stealing that she is concerned could run her out of business.
“People come in here daily on a daily basis stealing, they think that is okay,” manager Melanie Jackson said. “My inventory is 17,000 short on people coming in here stealing.”
She says small crimes like these are why so many businesses have left the area.
“Kroger left because they were stealing, the mall left because they were stealing, the Walmart left because they were stealing. So if everybody is gone, what are you going to do when Circle K decides we’re fed up?” she said.
Braswell’s mother says she just wants to get him the help he needs.
“I called the crisis center, I called the police department,” she said. “I try to get him assessed and every time he goes downtown for something like this they never assess him.”
Police are still looking for the man who drove off with the display of chips.