ALDI employees say man threatened them with gun before stealing detergent

Steven Dodd mug_MNPD_1-23-23.jpeg
Posted at 6:37 PM, Jan 23, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-23 19:37:48-05

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — A man was arrested Sunday after threatening grocery store employees with a gun and driving off with stolen laundry detergent in Brentwood.

Metro police were called to the ALDI in the 7100 block of Southpoint Parkway after a store employee reported a person with a weapon committed a crime.

Officers who arrived at the scene spoke with the store manager, who told them a man entered the store and began to fill up a shopping cart with various items before leaving the cart abandoned. The man returned to the cart, said he was using the restroom while the cart was left unattended and began to refill the cart with store items.

The report taken from the manager says the man then waited until there was only one employee at the register and "quickly fled the store" with the cart full of unpaid items. Three employees, including the manager, followed the man out to his vehicle to try and recover some of the stolen goods.

The theft suspect saw that he was being followed out to his car and was able to get two bottles of laundry detergent into his vehicle before abandoning the rest of the groceries in the shopping cart. The man told the employees he was going to shoot them and showed them a black handgun before driving away in a van, nearly hitting one of the employees in the process, according to the witness statement.

The ALDI employees pulled up security footage of the incident and called police to report the incident. By looking at the surveillance video, they were able to tell officers the suspect went north on Nolensville Pike after leaving the parking lot in a van spray-painted blue with wooden pallets strapped to the roof.

Metro police officers found a van matching that description stopped at a Planet Fitness parking lot in the 4800 block of Nolensville Pike. Police located the suspect in the driver's seat of the van with the keys to the vehicle, and a black handgun was found in the front of the van.

One of the ALDI employees who was threatened outside the grocery store was able to confirm that the man in the van was the suspect in this incident.

Steven D. Todd, 47, was identified as the suspect and has been charged with three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, driving with a suspended license and reckless endangerment. He is being held on $86,000 total bond at the Davidson County Downtown Detention Center.

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