NJ mayor stops alleged shoplifter

December 30, 2009 2:41:27 PM PST
He's the mayor of a New Jersey town, but acted like a cop stopping an alleged shoplifter. The mayor of Linden, New Jersey heard about a shoplifting suspect on the run, started chasing the guy and caught him.

"I was a patrolman, then I became a sergeant, then became a lieutenant, then became a captain of detective, and retired after 26 years," said Mayor Richard Gerbounka.

On Tuesday afternoon, Linden Police were chasing 22-year-old Camilo Quintero.

They say he ran out of the Sears Essentials Store on West Edgar Road with a shopping cart filled with more than $800 worth of merchandise.

A female accomplice had already been arrested in the store.

Linden Police had the suspect trapped near these warehouses, but he jumped the fence, ran across this cemetery, right into mayor Gerbounka."

"When I pulled up, he was by the mausoleum just running across the street," adds the mayor.

Only a mile away, Mayor Gerbounka drove into Rosedale Cemetery, parked his car, and started running after Quintero in his suit and tie.

Gerbounka says the Quintero just stopped running.

"When I had him spread eagle, face down on the ground, I started moving his hands behind his back, then I realized, hey I don't have handcuffs to cuff him with," said Gerbounka.

Police eventually caught up and arrested the suspect. The mayor says he'd absolutely do it again.