Teen Charged in Attempted Kidnapping

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Police in Taylor charged a teenager Monday for trying to kidnap a woman at a Walmart store in the borough last week.

Officers received tips from people who saw the suspect in a surveillance picture taken at the store.

Surveillance pictures from Friday gave police a clear look at the would-be kidnapper's face. They said the suspect had run off after attempting to kidnap a young woman from the Walmart.

Police later arrested Andres Merced,17, of Taylor for the crime after receiving some tips from people who saw the surveillance photo. Police said he was easy to find because Merced was already in jail on a probation violation.

According to court papers, Merced was almost able to lead his victim out of the store and into the parking lot, but as she approached the front of the store, she screamed and ran away from him.

People who often shop at the Walmart in Taylor said they usually feel safe, but this random attack reminds them that you can't take safety for granted.

"I just keep on moving, and in the store I always have my purse strapped up with the cart, because I figure it's going to make it a little harder for them if they're going to try and steal my purse," said Geraldine Phile of Dalton.

"I'm really shocked over this. We don't mind coming here, it's a great store, but it just seems like there is a full moon every day now. It's like you don’t know what to expect," added Allen Segal of Archbald.

Police said Merced will be charged as an adult for this crime. He is being charged with attempted kidnapping and assault.

"We received numerous calls from citizens who were afraid to go into the store as well as employees, but this can put it to rest, assure them that the community is safe and this gentleman is off the streets," said Taylor Police Chief Len Mickavicz.

In addition to the kidnapping charge, Merced is charged with theft. Police said he stole an air pistol from Walmart that was used in the crime.