Police: Shoplifting Leads To Chase

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SCRANTON -- Lackawanna County Sheriff's Deputies wanted to question a man accused of stealing from a grocery store in Scranton and got much more than they bargained for.  The man led them and Scranton police on a chase through the city's south side.

It all started at the Weis Market on South Washington Avenue. Cops say that man started speeding away when those deputies tried to stop him. He eluded them for almost an hour before they tracked him down about a mile away and police say it was all over a bottle of cooking oil.

Two Lackawanna County sheriff's deputies say a man driving a silver car led them to Hilltop Manor apartments in Scranton, crashed into a curb, blew out his front tire, and bailed before they even knew what they were chasing him for. While some officers searched for the suspect, others searched his abandoned car for clues as to who he might be.

It started when another man flagged down the two deputies, pointed out the silver car and accused its driver of stealing from the grocery store.

After about an hour-long chase and search throughout south side, Scranton police caught up with the driver and arrested him near South Webster Avenue.  It was a face some officers recognized.william parker mug

Scranton police say William Parker, 36, has been arrested in the past, charged with rape and assault. This time, he'll be charged with a summary offense of theft. Officers say he took a small bottle of cooking oil from the grocery store before he sped away.

The Lackawanna County Sheriff's department will most likely also charge Parker with resisting arrest or evading police because of the chase. Those charges haven't been filed yet. No one was hurt during the chase.

We spoke with a woman who said she knows William Parker. She says he was just trying to provide for his family, saw the deputies, and got scared.