Police: thief threatened store clerk with a knife

WILKES-BARRE – City police have arrested Erik Joseph Benner, 34, after allegedly wielding a knife and threatening a Home Depot employee.

In police records, Benner was confronted with the store manager leaving the store without paying for a Milwaukee radio valued at $ 246.75 just before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The store manager asked Benner if he was going to pay for the item; Benner replied that he was not going to pay, according to court records.

Benner reportedly told the store manager that he would stab an employee if he was forced to pay for the item.

A store worker told police he asked Benner if he needed help after seeing the radio in an open box in a cart. Benner turned hostile as he held a knife and threatened to stab the employee, court records show.

Benner reportedly asked the employee when he left work because he was expecting it.

Police said Benner was arrested in the parking lot. A glass pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine was reportedly found in Benner’s possession.

Police said Benner was wanted by authorities in Lackawanna County.

Benner, of Minden Place, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned by District Judge Joseph D. Spagnuolo Jr. in Plains Township for terrorist threats, retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Center for lack of $ 35,000 bail.