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Update: Hillsboro Rite Aid shoplifting video goes viral online

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Newspapers around the globe have written stories about the online video, which has been viewed more than 36,000 times since Tuesday

This story has been updated

(Image is Clickable Link) KODY YOUMANS/KODYXO - An incident between a Rite Aid employee and an alleged shoplifter has sparked a viral video that has been viewed more than 30,000 times. Newspapers across the globe have covered the incident.A scuffle between an alleged shoplifter and an employee in a Hillsboro Rite Aid is drawing international attention.

Last Tuesday, a YouTube user named KodyXO uploaded a nearly five-minute cell phone video of a Rite Aid employee detaining a woman inside the store.

"I caught video of a lady going crazy after a worker at the RiteAid in Hillsboro, Oregon," the user, Kody Youmans, wrote online. "She stole 2 items and a worker at the RiteAid chased her into the parking lot to grab her and bring her back into the store the detain her until the cops came."

According to the Hillsboro Police Department, the incident occured at the Rite Aid in Tanasbourne, 2021 N.W. 185th Ave., on March 14.

Since it was uploaded last week, the video has been watched more than 36,000 times online. Breitbart News, London's Daily Mail and The Sun newspapers, as well as TV networks in Australia, have published stories about the incident.

Youmans, a 16-year-old Aloha High School student who runs the KodyXO YouTube account, said that within hours of posting the video his inbox was flooded with requests from media outlets to use the footage.

"I went to bed and it had 20 views, I woke up and it was 10,000," he told The Tribune on Monday.

Youmans said he was surprised by the breadth of media agencies interested in the video, including Fox News and the Daily Mail. As the requests rolled in, Youmans was contacted by public relations firms that offered to handle distribution of the video for him.

"I was getting hundreds of emails," he said. "I couldn't handle it."

In the video, the employee tries to stop the woman from leaving the store by grabbing her purse and refusing to give it back.

"I'm not going to let go," the employee says in the video. "We're going to call the police and deal with this the right away."

The unidentified woman tells the employee to let go several times. The two fight over the purse, with the woman pulling, yanking and twisting in order to pry it from his grip.

At one point the woman tries to punch the employee, and kicks him. He tells her that she is not allowed to shoplift in the store.

Eventally the man wrestles her to the floor as she attempts to strike him.

"Ma'am, you need to chill out," a voice is heard on the video as the woman is on the ground. "You need to chill."

The woman screams "Let me go!" several times, but eventually relinquishes the purse to the employee as Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrive and arrest her.

According to Hillsboro Police, the woman, Sarah Michelle Jarvis of Thatcher, Ariz., was charged with third-degree robbery for the alleged shoplifting. Lt Henry Reimann, a spokesman with the police department, said the employee in the video will not face charges for detaining the woman until police arrived, although the woman claimed several times in the video that the man had assaulted her.

"You can use reasonable force to detain someone," Reimann said. "But that's a subjective thing. He's trying to hold onto her, and she gets violent, so he takes her to the ground. Those are hard situations to call."

Reimann said it will be up to the Washington County District Attorney to decide what, if any, additional charges are filed.

Many retail stores have policies in place that forbid employees from detaining shoplifters, and Reimann said the department doesn't advocate for businesses to detain alleged shoplifters.

"Businesses need to follow their policies and procedures," Reimann said. "Many businesses allow detention, and they can as long as they do it in a reasonable manner ... Businesses need to make sure that they examine their policies and make sure that it falls within the Oregon Revised Statutes."


Warning: This video contains adult language


In the video, the employee tries to stop the woman from leaving the store by grabbing her purse and refusing to give it back.

"I'm not going to let go," the employee says in the video. "We're going to call the police and deal with this the right away."

The unidentified woman tells the employee to let go several times. The two fight over the purse, with the woman pulling, yanking and twisting in order to pry it from his grip.

At one point the woman tries to punch the employee, and kicks him. He tells her that she is not allowed to shoplift in the store.

Eventally the man wrestles her to the floor as she attempts to strike him.

"M'am you need to chill out," a voice is heard on the video as the woman is on the ground. "You need to chill."

The woman screams "Let me go!" several times, but eventually relinquishes the purse to the employee as Washington County Sheriff's deputies arrive and arrest the woman.

According to Hillsboro Police, the woman, Sarah Michelle Jarvis of Thatcher, Ariz., was charged with third-degree robbery for the alleged shoplifting. Lt Henry Reimann, a spokesman with the police department, said that the employee in the video will not face charges for detaining the woman until police arrived, although the woman claimed several times in the video that the man had assaulted her.

"You can use reasonable force to detain someone," Reimann said. "But that's a subjective thing. He's trying to hold onto her, and she gets violent, so he takes her to the ground. Those are hard situations to call."

Reimann said that it will be up to the Washington County District Attorney to decide what, if any, additional charges are filed.

Many retail stores have policies in place that forbid employees from detaining shoplifters, but Reimann said that the department doesn't advocate for businesses to detain alleged shoplifters.

"Businesses need to follow their policies and procedures," Reimann said. "Many businesses allow detention, and they can as long as they do it in a reasonable manner ... Businesses need to make sure that they examine their policies and make sure that it falls within the Oregon Revised Statutes.



By Geoff Pursinger
Associate Editor, Hillsboro Tribune
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Editor's Note: This story has been updated with additional information about the alleged shoplifter, and to include comments from Hillsboro Police Lt. Henry Reimann.