Two More Serious Charges Dropped Against Accused Shopkeeper
Prosecutors have dropped the charges of kidnapping and carrying a concealed weapon against the shopkeeper accused David Chen. Readers will remember Mr. Chen as Toronto’s Chinatown shopkeeper who arrested a shoplifter, with the help of two employees, then got charged himself.
Mr. Chen, owner of Chinatown store Lucky Moose Mart, had spotted the thief and with the assistance of his employees, tackled the thief, bound him in twine and detained him in a delivery truck until the police arrived four minutes later. The thief had allegedly victimized local stores, and has a criminal record going back 32 years, all according to this news report. Incredibly, this record includes – according to the news report – stealing from Mr. Chen’s own store and a neighbouring store, including on that same day. Truth being stranger than fiction, the thief was granted a plea-bargain sentence of 30 days in relation to his theft from Mr. Chen’s store in part because he agreed to testify against Mr. Chen and the two employees.
The Crown’s theory seems to be that because the arrest was not contemporaneous with the crime, the thief having returned to the store about an hour after committing the theft, the arrest is not protected by citizen’s arrest provisions. Mr. Chen has apparently rejected a plea bargain – he had videotape evidence of the theft.
Mr. Chen is married with 2 children, aged 2 and 6, and has become a bit of a folk hero. How hot is this story? The Globe and Mail reported at 12:13pm yesterday, the National Post at 4:03 pm, CBC at 2:54pm, the Toronto Star right away too.
Have a good day,
Christopher M.B. Graham – Click here for more information on Chris Graham.