A would-be shoplifter was captured by Athens Police Thursday after a foot pursuit in the area around the Wal-Mart store on W. Tyler Street.

Billy Rogers Williams, 52, of LaRue would have been charged with simple theft under $50, but efforts to elude police drew an additional evading arrest charge.

APD Lt. Mike Davis said at about 10:30 a.m. Williams was seen leaving the Cato store after failing to pay for items he had placed in a sack. When police arrived, Williams had exited Cato and walked across the Wal-Mart parking lot.

“He went past Wal-Mart and turned left by where the trucks unload their freight, then went into the woods. We started pursuit there,” Davis said.

Davis said the suspect entered the woods with the parcel in his possession, and traveled toward Wallace Street. From Wallace Street he exited onto Old Tyler Highway heading west.

“He crossed Wood Street and began jumping fences behind houses and finally into a pasture, where we surrounded him and caught him,” Davis said.

The arresting officers were Lloyd Giles and Troy Harris, with several others assisting.

Davis said the theft charge is a class C misdemeanor and evading arrest is a class B misdemeanor. Williams remained in the Henderson County Jail Thursday afternoon awaiting arraignment.

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e-mail rflowers@athensreview.com

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