PIQUA — Two men are in custody, both facing charges in the theft of a television set from the Piqua Walmart store on Wednesday afternoon.
Curtis J. Nelson, 37, of Covington, and Michael J. Price, 29, of Piqua, each face a charge of first-degree theft after they allegedly stole a large-screen television. Police say that Nelson carried the item out of the store and Price drove the getaway vehicle.
The pair was spotted exiting the store and an alert onlooker decided to follow them.
The onlooker called 911 and gave information, including car type and license number to Miami County 911.
A Troy police officer spotted the vehicle southbound on I-75 and initiated a traffic stop near the 71-mile marker.
The two men were detained and the stolen item located in the vehicle. A third man, who according to officers, was intoxicated and had not participated in the theft.
Nelson and Price were taken into custody and transported to the Piqua Police Department. The third man, whose name was not released, was given a ride home.
Deputy Piqua Police Chief Marty Grove said that they appreciate citizen involvement, but caution people not to take things into their own hands. “This person didn’t,” said Grove, “They called 911, gave us updates, and that led to the successful apprehension of the suspects.”
“They got the license number right away,” added Officer Jerry Fogt. “And that was a big deal. We knew right away who it was.”
Since the charge against Nelson and Price is a first-degree misdemeanor, both were released from custody by Piqua police and will face a judge at a later date.