A brash shoplifting incident and a determined CVS employee led to the arrest of a bank robbery suspect last week.
Jeff Pichler said he was behind the counter at the CVS Pharmacy on California Street on Tuesday morning, July 8, when suspect William Brackin entered the pharmacy to buy a pack of cigarettes. According to Pichler, after he set the cigarettes on the counter, Brackin began to leave the store without paying for them. The suspect reportedly did not heed Pichler's requests that he pay for the cigarettes.
"He told me that he didn't care and that he robbed a bank," Pichler said. "He encouraged me in his own way to call the authorities."
At the time, Pichler said he was unaware that a man matching his description had allegedly robbed the Bank of America on Castro Street on July 1. Pichler called the police and followed Brackin out of the store, staying approximately 50 feet behind him, and describing the suspect's appearance to authorities.
Pichler said he lost sight of the suspect in the alley by Ava's Downtown Market and Deli. Pichler then proceeded to Castro Street, where he believed the suspect was headed. According to Pichler, he eventually spotted Brackin on Castro Street and alerted a police officer who was driving from Pichler's left.
A group of police officers then approached Brackin in front of Art Frame Studio and Easy Foods Company and arrested him around 11 a.m. An officer informed Pichler that police also suspected Brackin of robbing the Bank of America on Castro Street the previous week. Witnesses to that robbery described the suspect of having a strong smell indicative of someone who had not bathed recently.
Pichler said that the suspect expressed confidence that he could evade arrest from local police during the pursuit.
"He told me that the police couldn't catch him," Pichler said. "I thought, 'Come on. The Mountain View Police Department is better than that.'"