Shoplifting turned violent robbery caught on surveillance video

WHITLEY CO., Ky. (WKYT) - Ruth Young says she knew there wasn’t something right with when a woman walked into her store Tuesday afternoon and proceeded to sift through grocery items.

Moments later she saw her steal diaper and feminine products and try to leave.

“She opened two or three packages…I hollered at her,” said Young.

After Young says the woman threw the diapers to the floor, they all came outside and that’s when things got violent.

Young followed them out and called police. Surveillance video captured shocking developments next as the man, police say, the thief was with attacked Young.

“Then her husband came in and called me something awful. Said we accused his wife of stealing,” said Young.

Store video captured the pair coming and going until some bystanders stepped in to help the couple.

“We just kept telling him to leave, he wouldn’t leave…she wouldn’t either,” she said.

Then police say the pair went back to their car for some weapons.

"She went to the car and got an axe handle out, a customer took that away,” said Young.

Police say Rebecca Lawson is even seen taking a rake to an unsuspecting customer’s car. It started as a simple shoplifting incident, but police have charged the pair with robbery. And the Youngs say they know why it all happened.

“It’s drugs, if they weren’t drugged up they wouldn’t act that way,” said Young.

Young says she suffered a hurt hand and rattled nerves in the ordeal but she and her husband are otherwise fine.

Police says it’s third or fourth time the store has been either robbed or burglarized in recent weeks.

Whitley County Sheriff Colan Harrel says they normally wouldn't want bystanders to intervene in such cases, but he's glad they did in this case, because he says the Youngs avoided serious injury as a result of the violent encounter.

"They should be commended for what they did," Sheriff Harrell says of the "3-4" bystanders who helped out.

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