A man who allegedly tried to steal an assault rifle from a local pawn shop and then fled after being briefly detained by the shop’s owner was apprehended Thursday after a foot pursuit.
The suspect, Evan K. Pietrus, 31, also is believed to have stolen another assault weapon from Pawn Shop Express, 2166 Winchester Ave., a few days ago, police said.
In fact, shop owner Tim Caines said he recognized Pietrus from the earlier theft when he came into the store shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday. He said the suspect concealed an AK-47 underneath his coat and then tried to run out after realizing he’d been spotted.
Caines said he caught up to Pietrus outside the shop and pushed him up against a wall of the building. He and some other employees were able to wrestle the suspect back inside the shop to wait for the police to arrive. But, Pietrus broke free and “the pursuit was on,” Caines said.
Two police officers and two Pawn Shop Express employees chased Pietrus for several blocks before catching up to him behind Boyd County Ford, Ashland Police Department Lt. William Bare said.
One of the store employees suffered a leg laceration during the chase, Bare said.
Pietrus was lodged in the Boyd County Detention Center, charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree fleeing or evading police and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Additional charges are pending, Bare said.
Bare said it was also likely Pietrus would face federal charges due to the type of weapons involved.
Pietrus hasn’t been charged yet in theft of the other weapon, an AR-15, which occurred on Oct. 22. That incident is still under investigation, Bare said.
Police also are looking for a female accomplice with whom they believe Pietrus may have been working, Bare said.
Caines said Thursday’s incident was definitely out of the ordinary, but not much more so than some of the other things that have occurred in his shop.
“In 31 years of doing business, you see everything,” he said.
KENNETH HART can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or