Police nab pair after pursuit in woods

A pair of accused shoplifters who tried to steal electronics from Rite Aid Wednesday were taken into custody after a police pursuit into the woods off West Thomas Street.

A concerned citizen is credited with helping police locate the fleeing couple, according to Detective Commander Timothy J. Bates.

Police said Jeffery A. Jock, 35, and Jessica DeBlasiis, 29, both of 513 Laurel St., tried to steal electronics from the Rite Aid on Erie Boulevard at about 1:25 p.m. An employee saw the theft and managed to get both a license plate number and a vehicle description as the pair drove away.

The vehicle was found abandoned on Clinton Street a short time later. Police said the couple fled across West Thomas Street into the woods between Levitt Street and Gifford Road, where they were spotted by a concerned citizen, who telephoned the police to report two suspicious people running past his house.

"They apprehended a female after a foot pursuit through the field and wooded area," Bates explained. Jock managed to make it into the woods.

By then, several other officers had driven over to the Gifford Road side of the woods. And the pursuing officers pushed Jock through the woods and into waiting handcuffs of the officers. Both are charged with petty larceny and resisting arrest.

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They were scheduled to appear in City Court today.