Police: Would-be shoplifter attempts carjacking before being subdued by bystanders

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- A man who police say attempted to steal nearly a thousand dollars worth of merchandise from an Independence Lowe's is now facing charges after they say he threatened multiple people with a knife and attempted to a carjack a woman before he was subdued by bystanders.

Tony M. Taylor

Tony M. Taylor, 44, is charged with 1st degree robbery and armed criminal action.

Court records say Taylor entered the Lowe's on E. Valley View Parkway in Independence on Monday and walked out with a cart full of $987.59 in merchandise without paying. When a loss prevention officer confronted Taylor outside the store and grabbed his shopping cart, the suspect pulled out a red folding knife and pointed it at the employee and said, "don't think about it."

Taylor grabbed a tool kit out of the cart and fled through the parking lot still holding the knife when a customer attempted to block him, prosecutors say. Taylor grabbed the customer by the neck, then dropped the tool kit and let go of the customer and continued running through the parking lot.

The suspect then reportedly ran to the gas pumps at a nearby Costco and attempted to enter two occupied vehicles. The driver of the first car was able to lock the doors and drive away. Taylor went to another car and grabbed a woman by her arm and pulled her out of the vehicle. That woman said she told Taylor she needed her oxygen tank, and was able to grab it before being pulled out by her arm.

Taylor tried to lock the doors, but the woman still had the key fob with her. She unlocked the doors and several bystanders physically subdued Taylor until police arrived just before 6:30 p.m. One witness said he saw Taylor inside the vehicle still holding the knife, but when he saw the suspect finally drop the knife, he was able to physically restrain the man.

Police said when asked for identification, Taylor initially gave false information. Police recovered the knife and obtained video surveillance of the incident from Lowe's.

Taylor is held on a $75,000 bond.