Shoplifting suspect flees, drowns at Md. mall

Man was fleeing from security officers when he jumped into stormwater pond


July 08--A shoplifting suspect drowned in an Arundel Mills mall stormwater pond Monday.

Anne Arundel County police said the unidentified man was fleeing mall security officers just before 9 p.m. when he jumped into the water. As he was swimming away, security officers urged him to get out of the 900-yard-long pond.

Police spokesman Justin Mulcahy said the man apparently dove under the water and did not resurface.

Divers found the man's body around 11:15 p.m. at the bottom, in the middle of the 20-foot deep pond.

The victim had not been identified as of Tuesday morning.

His body was at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore. The examiner found no trauma to the body, Mulcahy said. Further examination is underway to determine the cause of death.

"At this point it looks like an accidental drowning," Mulcahy said.

More details emerged late Wednesday morning. There were apparently three people involved in the incident, one was arrested and charged, another was detained and not charged and the third is the drowning victim, police said.

The alleged shoplifting happened at the Zumiez store, which sells skate and snow boarding clothing and equipment.

According to county police a store employee witnessed the alleged shoplifting and followed the three out of the store with help from mall security.

Two were detained. One was released with no charges.

Tania D. Turner, 26, of Baltimore was charged with theft under $1,000.

And the third suspect fled and later drowned.

There were unconfirmed reports that the clothing witnesses said the victim was wearing was found near the pond, as if he had put on clothes in the suspected shoplifting incident, then discarded them.

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