Suspect fought with Kmart clerks, police say

A Taft man is facing armed robbery charges after he fought with store clerks at Kmart after he was caught shoplifting last week, Taft Police said.

John Timothy Robinson, 56 was caught trying to steal compressed carbon dioxide canisters and pellets for a pellet gun just before noon on Aug. 10 and ran from the store after a struggle with store employees.

He was arrested a short time later in South Taft.

Chief of Police Ed Whiting said store clerks apprehended Robinson during the shoplifting.

At first, the chief said, Robinson started cooperating and turning over the items, then struggled with the workers and later fled with some of the items.
During the struggle, Whiting said, one of the employees tried to call police from a cell phone but Robinson grabbed it and threw it to the ground.

Robinson was arrested about 4:45 p.m. on the 300 block of Naylor.

Robinson is charged with armed robbery and damaging or obstructing use of a wireless device.
He was booked on warrants for failure to appear on a previous shoplifting charge and for occupying an unsafe dwelling.

He is being held on $36,000 bail in the Kern County Sheriff's Lerdo Pretrial Facility and is due back in court on Aug. 17 for a pretrial hearing.