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Long IslandCrime

Customers nab shoplifter who punched store employee, police say

William Mohan, 53, of Lindenhurst.

William Mohan, 53, of Lindenhurst. Photo Credit: NCPD

A 7-Eleven store employee in Westbury was attacked early Friday morning after he tried to stop a shoplifter who then fled but was apprehended by customers, authorities said.

The store worker was punched several times in the face and thrown into a display rack after he tried to stop William Mohan, 53, of Lindenhurst, from shoplifting merchandise, Nassau police said.

Mohan, of Bristol Street, entered the convenience store on Old Country Road at 12:15 a.m. and began taking merchandise from the rack and hiding the items in his clothing, Third Squad detectives said.

A store employee approached Mohan and told him to give the merchandise back, police said in a Friday release. When the worker threatened to call 911, Mohan began punching the employee in the head and tossed him into a display rack, authorities said.

The employee, who suffered cuts and bruises to his face, escaped as other customers entered the store, police said.

Mohan fled the store on foot and was followed by the customers, who brought him back to the store to wait for police, authorities said.

Third Precinct officers retrieved the stolen merchandise from the front lawn of a nearby home.

Mohan was charged with second-degree robbery and fourth-degree criminal mischief. He was arraigned in First District Court in Hempstead on Friday and held on $30,000 bond or $25,000 cash and ordered to stay away from the victim.

The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, which represented Mohan at arraignment, declined to comment.

Mohan is due back in court Tuesday.

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