Caught on Camera: Theft Suspect "Rolling Back" Stalled Getaway Vehicle at Walmart


Ian always has his phone out capturing content for his band 'Unconfined.'

"Yeah, I film a lot for the band," he says, "but I guess you just never know and it's that age where if you see something you can catch it. You never know." It was "content" that he found one Friday afternoon that turned an unexpected sight into a video now seen by nearly 30,000 people and shared close to 600 times.

On September 14th, Ian was shopping at the Clarkston Walmart.

"I was coming out of the store and it was happening right in front of me. Basically what went down was he was pushing a cart out that he purchased a few things and I guess he had some stuff underneath that he wasn't supposed to have, he didn't pay for it."

Clarkston Police say loss prevention stopped the man, and struggled with his cart before he left everything and tried to run. What happened next made Ian whip out his phone.

"This *expletive* dude just stole from Walmart," Ian says in the Facebook video, "and he's fleeing the scene but this *expletive* gotta push his car to start it. He's gotta push-start his car!" There in the Walmart parking lot, Ian captured the man rolling back and forth trying to start his pickup.

Ian even walked up and talked to him. "They're gonna get you," Ian says from behind his phone. The man stops pushing just long enough to look at him and say, "I know."

"One gentleman walked up to help him and the loss prevention people, everyone who saw the incident happen were yelling out saying not to help him," Ian recalls. Without the aid of bystanders, the man, later identified as Johnathan Pursel, Jr. did get the Mazda started, but he didn't get far. Clarkston Police pulled him over on Fair Street and arrested him.

Ian caught that on video as well - he's waiting to release it.

While he says he originally started filming for "the content," Ian says it's not just a funny criminal moment. "I do feel bad in a way though," Ian says, "because you never know anybody's going through. To be pushed to the point where you're stealing stuff, it's pretty rough. Maybe he can think about what went down and get things on track for himself."

A police report says Pursel told officers he knew what he did was wrong, but he was "down and out." Ian has a message for him about the power of social media.

"Maybe ask for help next time if you need something. Social media's huge nowadays, so you never know. You reach out and someone may be willing to help."

The Clarkston Police report says Pursel was charged with a 3rd degree theft citation and has been trespassed from Walmart for 99 years.

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